Flavor Forecast: XO Sauce | McCormick Flavor Solutions
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Flavor Forecast: XO Sauce

February 2020 | McCormick Culinary Team


Traditional XO sauce is a medium spicy seafood sauce that was developed in Hong Kong during the 1980s, and now is commonly used in southern Chinese regions and throughout Asia.  This umami-packed condiment is the whole package - savory, smoky, sweet, spicy and salty - thanks to key ingredients like dried shrimp, cured ham, chilies, onion, oil and more. 

The name "XO", which stands for "extra old" like cognac, signifies its original purpose as a luxury flavor. Its unique, chunky texture is more like a relish or chutney, rather than a typical sauce. 

We crave the new takes on XO sauce now appearing in street foods, fusion dishes mashed with other cuisines, and even vegetarian options.  XO sauce is poised to become a universal condiment.