The 17 Best Substitutes for XO Sauce
XO sauce is a luxurious ingredient in Chinese cuisine that has become increasingly popular with the rise of Asian dishes being served worldwide.
However, not everyone can afford it due to its scarcity and high price. Fortunately, some substitutes can help achieve a similar flavor profile. Here are the 17 best substitutes for XO sauce:
1. Oyster sauce – Made from oysters, this sauce has a similar savory flavor profile to XO sauce.
2. Fish sauce – A staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, fish sauce contains umami flavors that can replace XO sauce.
3. Teriyaki sauce – Its depth of flavor and sweetness make it an excellent substitute for XO sauce.
4. Hoisin sauce – Gives a depth of complex and savory flavor, making it a favorite among Asian dishes. – See Also Hoison Sauce compared to Oyster Sauce
5. Chili garlic sauce – Its pungent garlic and chili combination provides a similar heat to XO sauce.
6. Soy sauce – A versatile sauce that can be used in place of XO sauce, especially in rice dishes. See some other uses for Soy Sauce.
7. Hot sauces – A mix of flavors that can provide the needed kick in your dish.
8. Light soy sauce – Its savory and umami flavors make it an excellent substitute for XO sauce.
9. Dark soy sauce – A key ingredient in many Chinese dishes, dark soy sauce provides a rich, deep flavor close to that of XO sauce.
10. Sauces made with peanut oil – Peanut oil is often used in XO sauce, thus its sauce can work as a substitute.
11. Chili crisp – This blend of ingredients, including chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, is similar to XO sauce.
12. Sesame oil – Its nutty and complex flavor profile make it an excellent addition to dishes.
13. Sour sauce – Made with vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce, this sauce is an excellent substitute for XO sauce.
14. Spicy seafood sauce – With a mix of fish sauce, chili peppers, and garlic, this sauce can replace XO sauce.
15. Chili flakes – The dried chili flakes can add a similar heat to your dish like the one in XO sauce.
16. Pepper flakes – Similar to chili flakes, pepper flakes will add spice to your dish.
17. A homemade garlic mixture – This substitute requires blending garlic cloves with dry sherry, then cooking it in a pan with vegetable oil. The mixture is then stored in an airtight container for at least two weeks before use. This homemade alternative is the closest substitute to XO sauce.
You can find various recipes online to create a substitute for XO sauce. Look for ingredients with similar flavors and textures and experiment with different combinations until you find the perfect substitute. Using any of the substitutes above can achieve a similar flavor profile without breaking the bank.
|Oyster Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Savory, similar to XO sauce|
|Fish Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Umami, staple in Southeast Asian cuisine|
|Teriyaki Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Sweet, depth of flavor|
|Hoisin Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Complex, savory, popular in Asian dishes|
|Chili Garlic Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Pungent, spicy, similar heat to XO sauce|
|Soy Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Versatile, good for rice dishes|
|Hot Sauces||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Mix of flavors, adds a kick|
|Light Soy Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Savory, umami flavors|
|Dark Soy Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Rich, deep flavor, common in Chinese dishes|
|Sauces made with Peanut Oil||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Similar to XO sauce due to peanut oil|
|Chili Crisp||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Blend of chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns|
|Sesame Oil||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Nutty, complex flavor|
|Sour Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Made with vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce|
|Spicy Seafood Sauce||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Mix of fish sauce, chili peppers, and garlic|
|Chili Flakes||Use to taste||Adds heat, similar to XO sauce|
|Pepper Flakes||Use to taste||Adds spice|
|Homemade Garlic Mixture||Use in a 1:1 ratio||Closest homemade substitute to XO sauce|
Please note that the usage and flavor profiles can vary based on the specific brand or recipe used.
What is an XO Sauce substitute?
XO sauce is a luxurious ingredient that is often used in Chinese cuisine to add a savory and spicy flavor to various dishes.
However, it may not always be on hand or affordable for everyone. Luckily, plenty of alternatives can provide a similar depth of flavor and heat to your dish.
This article will explore various substitutes for XO sauce that can be used in a range of Asian and other cuisine dishes.
Top 17 Subsites For XO Sauce as Researched Asian Restaurants and Food Halls Throughout Asia
Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese sauce that has gained worldwide recognition for its versatility and flavor. It is a dark, sticky sauce that combines soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients such as mirin, sake, and ginger.
The flavor of teriyaki sauce is a complex blend of salty, sweet, and savory flavors that create a depth of flavor that is unmatched by any other sauce. The umami flavor that teriyaki sauce possesses comes from the soy sauce, which is made from fermented soybeans and gives this sauce its distinct taste.
When compared to xo sauce, teriyaki sauce has a more syrupy consistency and a sweeter taste. On the other hand, XO sauce has a salty flavor and a slightly spicy kick, making it perfect for adding to rice dishes, noodle dishes, and savory dishes like stir-fries.
Teriyaki sauce is a wonderful substitute for xo sauce because it is readily available in most grocery stores and is often used in Asian dishes. It can be used as a dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables, a marinade for seafood, or a glaze for roasted meats.
To make teriyaki sauce, combine one cup of soy sauce, one cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, and two cloves of minced garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer until it thickens, stirring occasionally.
Teriyaki sauce can be stored in an airtight container and will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. Overall, teriyaki sauce is an excellent alternative to xo sauce that offers a similar depth of flavor and can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is a popular sauce used in Chinese cuisine. It is a versatile sauce that can be used as a dipping sauce, a glaze, or a marinade. The combination of sweet and sour flavors makes it a great addition to various dishes, including meat, vegetables, and rice.
This sauce’s sweet and sour flavor comes from the combination of sugar and vinegar. The sugar adds sweetness to the sauce, while the vinegar provides a tangy and sour taste. Additionally, the sauce usually contains other ingredients like pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce, and ginger, adding flavor depth.
Compared to XO Sauce, sweet and sour sauce has a sweeter taste due to the added sugar, which makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer milder flavors.
To store the sauce, it’s essential to keep it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. This will keep it fresh for future use.
In conclusion, sweet and sour sauce is a great sauce to have in your condiment arsenal.
It provides a sweet and tangy taste that goes well with various dishes and is easy to make.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Sweet chili sauce is a popular sweet and spicy condiment that has become a staple in many kitchens around the globe. It is a versatile sauce that can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze.
The sauce originated in Thailand and is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
The flavor of this sauce is a perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness. It is made using a combination of sugar, vinegar, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes fish sauce.
The sugar adds sweetness, the vinegar provides the tangy flavor, and garlic adds depth to the sauce. The red chili peppers give the sauce a mild to medium heat, making it suitable for those who love a bit of spice in their food.
Compared to XO Sauce, sweet chili sauce is milder in terms of heat. It has a strong sweetness and tangy flavor, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a milder and sweeter taste.
To store the sauce, it’s essential to keep it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. This will keep it fresh for several months. Sweet chili sauce goes well with a variety of dishes, including rice dishes, noodle dishes, and even dipping sauces for snacks. Its complex flavor and versatility make it an excellent substitute for Xo Sauce in Asian dishes.
Hoisin sauce is a popular sauce in Chinese cuisine that has been enjoyed for centuries.
Its versatility is unmatched and can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or ingredient in stir-fries and other Asian dishes. This sauce is a staple in many households and restaurants.
The flavor of hoisin sauce is complex and rich. It has a sweet and salty taste with a hint of umami flavor. The sweetness comes from the use of sugar or maltose, while the saltiness is due to the addition of fermented soybeans, vinegar, and salt. The umami flavor uses soy sauce, garlic, and chili peppers. This combination of flavors gives hoisin sauce a unique and irresistible taste.
Compared to XO Sauce, hoisin sauce is sweeter and less savory. It has a milder flavor that suits those who prefer a less intense taste. On the other hand, XO sauce has a more savory flavor and a medium level of heat that adds depth to the dishes.
Oyster sauce is a popular and versatile condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is made by simmering oysters in soy sauce and then adding sugar and spices.
The sauce has a savory, umami flavor that enhances the taste of any dish it is added to. It is widely used as a marinade, stir-fry sauce, and dipping sauce.
The flavor of oyster sauce is rich and complex. It has a salty and slightly sweet taste with a hint of umami flavor that comes from oysters.
The aroma is also a characteristic feature of the sauce, providing an intense and appetizing smell that adds depth to any dish.
When compared to XO sauce, oyster sauce is less intense and has a milder flavor. It is less spicy and has a savory taste suitable for those who prefer a less intense flavor. XO sauce, in contrast, has a higher level of heat and a more complex, savory flavor that brings depth to dishes.
To use oyster sauce, one can add it directly to a dish during cooking or use it as a dipping sauce. It pairs well with seafood, poultry, beef, and vegetables. One can also use it as a marinade for meats and as a stir-fry sauce.
The sauce can be refrigerated for up to a month.
Chili garlic sauce
Chili garlic sauce is a popular condiment in Chinese cuisine and has now become increasingly popular worldwide. It is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. This sauce is made from fresh chili peppers, garlic, and vinegar, which gives it a tangy and spicy taste.
The flavor of chili garlic sauce is spicy and tangy, with a notable garlic taste. The sauce can range from mild to extremely hot, depending on the type and quantity of chili peppers used to make it. It’s vibrant color and pungent aroma make it an excellent addition to many dishes, including noodle dishes, savory dishes, and vegetable stir-fries.
When compared to XO sauce, chili garlic sauce has less depth of flavor and is typically spicier. It lacks the complex flavor profile that XO sauce is known for, but it makes up for it with its fiery heat and tanginess.
Nam prik pao (Thai chili paste)
Nam prik pao, or Thai chili paste, is a highly popular and versatile sauce in Thai cuisine. It is a condiment made from roasted chili peppers, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, palm sugar, and tamarind paste. This thick, paste-like sauce adds depth and flavor to various Thai dishes, including curries, stir-fries, and soups.
The flavor of Nam prik pao is complex, with a balance of sweet, salty, and spicy notes. It has a smoky and slightly savory taste with a rich umami flavor from the shrimp paste. The sweetness comes from the palm sugar and tamarind paste, while the spiciness is derived from the roasted chili peppers. Overall, Nam prik pao is a flavorful and aromatic sauce that enhances the taste of any dish it is added to.
When compared to XO sauce, Nam prik pao is spicier and has a more pronounced sweetness. However, it lacks the seafood flavor and umami depth of XO sauce. XO sauce has a more complex and savory flavor profile compared to Nam prik pao.
Chili crisp is a popular Chinese condiment that has taken the food world by storm. Its versatility and unique flavor profile have made it a hit among food enthusiasts, chefs, and home cooks alike.
Chili crisp is made by frying chili flakes, sichuan peppercorns, garlic, and other aromatics in oil until they become golden brown. See how to make your own red pepper flakes.
This mixture is then seasoned with salt, sugar, and vinegar to create a spicy and tangy sauce. Chili crisp is often used as a dipping sauce or added to stir-fry dishes, noodle dishes, and rice dishes to add a burst of flavor.
Chili crisp has a rich, bold, and complex flavor that is both spicy and savory. Its signature heat is derived from the chili flakes, while the nutty and numbing sensation comes from the sichuan peppercorns. The garlic and other aromatics add depth of flavor and a slightly sweet undertone. Overall, chili crisp offers a well-balanced and savory taste that is sure to impress even the most discerning palates.
When compared to Xo sauce, chili crisp has a more straightforward and spicier flavor profile. It lacks the depth of umami flavor and seafood notes found in XOsauce.
Vegan XO sauce
Vegan XO sauce has been gaining popularity in recent years for its rich and savory flavor that can be used to elevate a wide variety of dishes.
Its versatility makes it a must-have in any vegan pantry, especially for those who enjoy Asian cuisine. This sauce is a fantastic alternative for those who do not consume animal products but want to enjoy the umami flavors that Xo sauce provides.
The flavor of Vegan XO sauce is deeply savory with a rich umami taste that comes from the combination of shiitake mushrooms, dried vegetables, and soy sauce.
The sauce also has a mild heat that comes from the addition of chili peppers and garlic. When cooked, it develops a beautiful golden brown color that adds an appetizing appearance to any dish.
Vegan XO sauce is a healthier option with less salt and oil content. Vegan XO sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks and can also be frozen for future use.
Hoisin sauce + Smoked Ham
Hoisin sauce is a popular and versatile condiment that is widely used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese dishes. Its complex and savory flavor is what makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts. When mixed and fermented with smoked ham, you get a unique rich flavor that can be used as an alternative.
Oyster sauce + smoked prosciutto
Oyster sauce is a popular condiment that is widely used in Chinese cuisine. It is known for its versatility and ability to elevate the flavor of different dishes. Oyster sauce is made from a mixture of oyster essence, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and sometimes cornstarch, which gives it a thick and sticky consistency.
When it comes to flavor, oyster sauce has a deep, savory taste that is slightly sweet with a hint of saltiness. It can add a complex and salty flavor to any dish it’s added to, making it a favorite for stir-fries, noodles, and soups.
Compared to XO sauce, oyster sauce has a milder and simpler flavor profile.
Homemade XO sauce
Homemade XO sauce is a popular and versatile condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is a spicy seafood sauce that has gained worldwide popularity due to its complex flavor and ability to enhance the taste of any dish it’s added to.
The flavor of homemade XO sauce is a perfect blend of spicy, salty, and savory. It is made with a unique combination of dried seafood, chili peppers, and other umami-inducing ingredients. The addition of garlic cloves and dried shrimp brings a pungent and sweet taste to the sauce, while the chili peppers add a fiery kick of heat. The result is a sauce that is both complex and well-balanced in flavor.
When compared to oyster sauce, homemade XO sauce has a spicier and more intense umami flavor profile. Oyster sauce is milder and simpler in taste as it is made solely from oyster essence. However, while XO sauce is a luxury item that is typically used sparingly, oyster sauce is affordable and more readily available in most grocery stores.
To make homemade XO sauce, start by heating up a cup of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic mixture and the diced chili peppers to the saucepan and cook until golden brown. Then, stir in a tablespoon of sugar and half a cup of dry sherry and simmer for three minutes. Finally, add the dried shrimp and scallops to the saucepan and cook for five minutes until the seafood is soft.
Store the homemade XO sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. It is perfect for adding depth of flavor to rice dishes, noodle dishes, and savory dishes. XO sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce for hot pot or as a condiment to spice up your favorite sandwiches.
In conclusion, homemade XO sauce is a must-have for any lover of Asian cuisine. Its spicy, savory, and umami-rich flavor make it a perfect substitute for hot sauces or other savory condiments. Try it and take your dishes to the next level with this luxury sauce from Zhejiang Province!
Sriracha sauce has become popular in recent years as a versatile condiment that can add a spicy kick to a wide variety of dishes. Originally hailing from Thailand, this sauce has made its way into kitchens and restaurants worldwide, becoming a staple in many households.
The flavor of sriracha sauce is a perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and tangy. It is made with a unique combination of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. Adding vinegar and sugar brings a tangy and subtly sweet taste to the sauce, while the chili peppers add a fiery kick of heat. The result is a sauce that is both complex and well-balanced in flavor.
When compared to XO sauce, sriracha has a similar level of spiciness with a milder umami flavor profile. XO sauce is known for its intensity and complexity of flavors, while sriracha is simpler in taste but still provides a punch of heat and sweetness.
It is also more affordable and widely available in most grocery stores, making it an accessible option for those who want to add spice to their dishes.
Soy Sauce + Chili Flakes
Soy sauce with chili flakes (also known as chili soy sauce) is a popular and versatile condiment that is widely used in Asian cuisine. This sauce is made by mixing soy sauce with dried or fresh chili flakes, creating a spicy and savory flavor that adds depth to any dish.
The chili flakes in the sauce bring a medium heat level that adds a nice kick to dishes, while the soy sauce provides a salty and savory flavor. The combination of these flavors creates a well-balanced taste that can complement a variety of dishes.
When compared to XO sauce, chili soy sauce has a simpler flavor profile, but still adds a nice amount of heat and umami flavor to dishes. XO sauce is more complex in flavor and often considered a luxury item.
Oyster Sauce + Smoked Ham
Oyster sauce is a popular condiment in Chinese cuisine that adds a savory and rich flavor to a variety of dishes. Traditionally made by simmering oysters in soy sauce, oyster sauce has evolved over time and is now a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes. It is a versatile sauce that can be used as a marinade, glaze, stir-fry sauce, or dipping sauce.
When paired with smoked ham, oyster sauce takes on a whole new level of depth and complexity of flavor. The smokiness of the ham complements the umami flavor of the oyster sauce, creating a savory and mouth-watering taste that will leave you wanting more.
Compared to XO sauce, oyster sauce has a simpler flavor profile but still provides a satisfying level of umami and salty flavor.
Dried Squid or Fish
Dried squid or fish sauce is a popular and versatile ingredient in many Asian cuisines. It is a savory and salty condiment that adds depth of flavor to dishes and can be used in a variety of ways. This sauce is typically made by fermenting dried fish or squid in salt and then extracting the liquid that forms over time. The resulting sauce has a strong umami flavor that pairs well with many dishes.
When compared to XO sauce, dried squid or fish sauce has a more simplistic flavor profile. It lacks the complexity of XO sauce, but still provides a satisfying level of umami and salty flavor. Dried squid or fish sauce is also less spicy than XO sauce, making it a good substitute for those who are sensitive to heat.
Black Bean Sauce + Chili
Black bean sauce and chili is a popular condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to dipping sauces. Both black bean sauce and chili provide a unique depth of flavor and a moderate level of heat that complements a wide range of savory dishes.
The black bean sauce in this condiment is made from fermented black beans, which gives it a complex and salty flavor. Combined with the heat of chili, this sauce provides a perfect balance of flavors that is unique to Chinese cuisine. It also creates a savory and umami-rich taste that is highly sought after in Asian dishes.
Compared to XO sauce, black bean sauce and chili offers a more moderate level of heat, making it a great substitute for those who prefer a milder flavor. It also has a rich and savory flavor profile that is less complex than XO sauce but still provides a satisfying depth of flavor.
Incorporating black bean sauce and chili into your cooking is easy. It pairs well with a variety of meats, vegetables, and noodle dishes, and is perfect for adding some extra heat and depth of flavor to your favorite savory dishes. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for fried or grilled foods, adding an extra layer of flavor to your meal.
To make a simple stir-fry using black bean sauce and chili, stir-fry your favorite vegetables and protein in a hot wok with some garlic and ginger. Add a few tablespoons of black bean sauce and chili, and continue to stir-fry for a few more minutes. Serve with steamed rice, and enjoy this delicious Chinese condiment’s savory and spicy flavors.
Fast facts about XO sauce
XO sauce is a luxurious condiment originating from Zhejiang province in China. The sauce uses a complex combination of dried seafood, namely scallops and shrimp, as well as chili peppers, garlic, and other spices. It is considered a luxury item due to the expensive ingredients involved in its preparation. Here are some fast facts about XO sauce that you should know.
Why is it so expensive?
XO sauce is considered a luxury sauce and is known to be one of the most expensive Chinese delicacies.
The main reason for its high price tag lies in the process of making it. XO sauce includes several rare ingredients, such as dried scallops and prawns, which are both costly and difficult to source. Additionally, these ingredients must be carefully prepared and blended with other spices, such as chili peppers, garlic, and shallots, to achieve the complex and savory flavor that XO sauce is known for. Given the skill, time, and effort required to create such a delicious sauce, it’s not surprising that XO sauce is often associated with wealth and class. This sauce is particularly popular during Lunar New Year celebrations, where it is used to symbolize prosperity and good fortune.