XO with smoky goodness!

I’ve been enjoying our new Yoder smoker, a fabulous all-day cooking adventure that leaves you with a small mountain of beautiful smoked meats for the freezer. We’ve been enjoying learning about some of the classic dishes – smoked ribs, pork belly, pork butt and beef short ribs. 

But I wanted to try something new. While I was making our first batch of pork belly, it occurred to me that it could be interesting to try smoking scallops and prawn for an XO sauce. I’ve made this before with dried scallop and prawn, and it’s fantastic freshly made, but I thought the smokeyness would work well here, plus the texture might work too.

So I started the smoker for a short cook, around 240F, and popped some fresh raw scallops and prawn on, along with some eggplants for a side dish. 

I left them smoking beyond simply cooking them, about 1.5 hours, as I wanted them to be a little dehydrated as well. Once these were done, I moved onto the XO, blending the dried seafood until finely shredded. I sautéed finely chopped shallots and garlic, then added the seafood and cooked until gently browned. I then added some finely chopped smoked pork belly, and sliced chilli, some shrimp paste and some stock. Keep cooking for about 10-20 minutes until dryish and fragrant. 

Once this was ready, we tried it out with a range of dishes. Vongole with XO sauce and a little stock. The smoked eggplant, sliced and fried with XO and chilli bean paste. Steamed buns with sliced pork belly and my new favorite chilli sauce: crispy chilli in oil, black vinegar, light soy and a little water. 

I quite liked this – the XO was very flavourful, and had a great texture. It was perhaps not quite funky enough, but I think some more shrimp paste would solve that!


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