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XO shiitake and mushroom sauce


This mushroom and peanut extravaganza is a TASTE BOMB!

Nicknamed the caviar of the ‘Orient,' XO sauce is an umami fuelled southern Chinese condiment, traditionally made with dried shrimp and scallops.

Here’s our vegetarian Ironclad version that sources it’s umami from shiitake mushrooms, kombu, oyster sauce and soya sauce - all sourced from our friends at Ceres Organics. We fed it to our Chinese food expert and he couldn’t believe it didn’t have seafood in it!

This ‘sauce’ pairs perfectly with our Black Rice Congee. But if you are short for time, add dollops to plain noodles or a bowl full of Ironclad roasted broccoli or slather it on toast! East meets West in the very tastiest of ways!

Whatever you choose your taste buds and the people you love will thank you for it!


6 large dried shiitake mushrooms
10g dried kombu seaweed
1 c boiling water
150g unroasted peanuts
1 c vegetable oil – peanut or rice bran or sunflower
4 shallots
1 bulb garlic minced
1 cinnamon quill
3 bay leaves
2 star anise
300g button or shiitake mushrooms, sliced finely
1 T hot chilli flakes or more or less depending on your liking
c oyster sauce
3 T soy sauce
Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped roughly
Juice of one lemon


In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the dried shiitake and seaweed and let soak for ½ an hour. Squeeze the mushrooms and seaweed in a tea towel, then slice both finely. Save the left over stock and add it to your Black Rice Congee pot!

Over a medium flame, heat the oil in the lid of your Old Dutch or Legacy Pan and fry the peanuts till they are just beginning to brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peanuts from the oil and leave to cool.

Add shallots, garlic, spices and mushrooms to the hot oil, turn temperature to low and fry until the mixture is brown.

Remove from flame and pour mix through a sieve – saving the oil. If you are making the Black Rice Congee use the oil to fry up the Turmeric Tofu.

Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise from the mushroom mix and add the chilli flakes, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fried chopped peanuts, the fresh coriander and a big squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve in dollops with everything.