Spicy stir-fried prawns & scallops

You can cheat and buy XO if you wish, but I promise if you make it, you will be addicted.


  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 120g green prawns, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 120g scallops
  • 100g garlic stems, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 100g snow peas
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce, approx.
  • Steamed rice, to serve

  • DIY XO sauce (makes 200ml)
  • 2 tsp dried scallops (conpoy)
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimps
  • 100g fresh long red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ²/³ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp caster sugar


For the XO, soak scallops and shrimps in warm water for 2 hours, until softened. Drain, place in a food processor with remaining ingredients and blend. Place mixture in a saucepan over very low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw garlic flavour is gone and the sauce turns a deep red colour (about 45-60 minutes).

Place a wok over high heat. When it is smoking hot, drizzle in half of the peanut oil and quickly stir-fry the prawns until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.Repeat with the scallops.

Add the remaining peanut oil to the wok and stir-fry the garlic stems, spring onions and snow peas for about a minute. Add Shaoxing, then 3 tbsp of XO. Stir through and add chicken stock to create a sauce. Return seafood to the sauce, add soy sauce and stir through. Remove from heat and check seasoning. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Grosset Alea Riesling, 2016, Clare Valley, SA.
Redolent of white flowers, kaffir lime and herbs, this is the ideal Grosset wine to match with Asian dishes. The palate is succulent, with generous fruit, while retaining a tight, fine structure with fresh, sweeping acidity to finish. That masterful touch of sweetness is the perfect foil for the XO, but still maintains the classic zesty dry finish typical of Clare Valley rieslings.

First published in the Good Weekend. Photography by William Meppem and Jennifer Soo. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

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