XO Sauce Fried Rice
Savory, spicy, and full of juicy jumbo shrimp, sticky and sweet char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork) chunks, fragrant aromatics, scrambled egg, and slightly crunchy spring onion and bean sprouts! This XO Sauce Fried Rice is quick and easy to make, and jam-packed with flavor thanks to the king of Cantonese condiments – XO sauce!
Holy moly, you guys!
Everyone knows I love my fried rice, but this XO Sauce Fried Rice is beyond AMAZING and has ALL the best things going on in it! 😍 It’s my new favorite fried rice, and on the same level of tastiness (possibly higher even?) as my Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice. (If you haven’t tried that yet, then PLEASE do yourself a favor and go make that too!)
- Juicy jumbo shrimp.
- Sticky, sweet char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork) chunks.
- Silky soft scrambled egg.
- Plenty of garlic and hot fresh red chilies (though you can use less chilies if you want to make it milder 🙂 ).
- Fragrant Thai jasmine rice.
- Fresh and crisp spring onion and bean sprouts.
- And a savory-sweet seafood-y sauce starring XO sauce – the king of Cantonese condiments – lightly kissing every grain of rice with its superior magical flavor! 🤤
I’m telling you friends, this fried rice is exquisite. It boasts the BEST flavors and textures, and I think you’re going to love it! 🤗
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s quick and easy to make on any given weeknight with store-bought char siu pork (though you can use homemade if you like) and XO sauce.
- You have the advantage of being able to slice the char siu pork into big chunks and enjoy its flavors and textures to the MAX, as opposed to having to settle for small chopped pieces in a restaurant made char siu fried rice.
- Big. Jumbo. Juicy. Shrimp. HELLO LOVER! 😍
- The sauce is incredibly flavorful and jam-packed with salty, sweet, and spicy notes!
- The white and black pepper combination infuses this fried rice with wonderful peppery notes.
- XO Sauce: This is a savory umami-packed Cantonese sauce made from dried seafood, Jinhua pork, aromatics, and chili peppers. You can find it at an Asian supermarket. I used Lee Kum Kee Extra Hot XO Sauce, but you can use the regular XO sauce if a milder flavor is desired. There are several brands available, but Lee Kum Kee is the most readily available brand outside of Hong Kong. Feel free to use a homemade XO sauce if you prefer.
- Shao Xing Rice Wine: A fragrant Chinese cooking wine that can be found in Asian supermarkets. Substitute with dry sherry if unavailable.
- Dark Soy Sauce: This is mainly used for color and is less salty than light soy sauce. You can substitute with more low sodium light soy sauce in a pinch if you don’t have it on hand.
- Chinese Chili Oil: This is the type with chili flakes and seeds, and you can use your favorite kind – either homemade or store-bought. Look for one at an Asian supermarket. Note that this is not Sichuan chili oil and it has no red peppercorns in it. It is made mainly with ground dried red chilies and oil. I used one that is made in-house at my favorite noodle soup shop. But if you prefer, you can substitute with (the equivalent amount) more XO sauce instead. It will add the spicy flavor needed since the XO sauce is a little spicy.
- Char Siu Pork: Also known as Chinese BBQ pork. It’s a sticky and sweet roast pork cut (pork butt/shoulder or sometimes belly) spiced with five spice powder. You can use store-bought (like I did) from a Chinese BBQ/roast meat shop (known as siu mei – 燒味) in Chinatown (if there’s one near you) or restaurant. Alternatively, you can use one of the many recipes available online and make your own Chinese BBQ pork. Two char siu pork recipes I recommend are from Marion’s Kitchen and RecipeTin Eats.
- Shrimp: You can use prawns instead if preferred. I recommend using size 16/20 for the best juicy texture and flavor. But you are welcome to use a smaller size if that’s what you have on hand. Be careful not to overcook them though.
- Chilies: I used plenty of fresh Thai Bird’s Eye red chilies to make this fried rice deliciously spicy! But feel free to use less or omit if you want to make this fried rice milder.
- Chili Oil: This is a pure Chinese chili oil without any seeds or flakes. I used it in addition to the canola oil for cooking. Omit if making this dish mild.
- Canola Oil: Feel free to use any other neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point (i.e.: peanut oil, vegetable oil, etc.).
- Rice (not pictured): Use day-old cooked long grain rice such as Thai jasmine rice as it works best for making fried rice. (See ‘Cook’s Tips’ section below if you don’t have cooked day-old rice on hand.)
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make XO Sauce Fried Rice
1. Cook the egg: Over medium-high heat in a bit of oil and until 70% cooked and slightly runny still. (It will finish cooking later). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Stir-fry the aromatics. In the remaining canola oil and pure chili oil (if using). Sauté the yellow onion and spring onion white parts first until slightly softened. Then add and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and red chilies until fragrant.
3. Cook the shrimp. Sauté until they start to develop some color.
4. Add the char siu pork. Stir-fry for a minute to combine and until it starts to caramelize.
5. Add the rice and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry in a scooping motion until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.
6. Season. With freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and ground white pepper to taste, and add the egg back into the wok. Toss to combine.
7. Add veggies. Toss through the mung bean sprouts and spring onion greens until combined well and the bean sprouts have slightly wilted. Switch off the heat.
8. Serve! Divide evenly onto plates/bowls and garnish with more chopped spring onion if desired. Then enjoy!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Use day-old cold rice. Cooked day-old rice will have a chance to chill and dry a little in the fridge. This will ensure it doesn’t become mushy in the wok. If you haven’t planned ahead, cook the rice as you normally would, then spread it out on a baking tray or large dish. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that it loses some of its moisture.
- Don’t add too much oil from the XO sauce jar when measuring it out for the sauce. You want a little bit of oil for some of its spicy flavors, but not too much so that the fried rice is drowning in oil.
- Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. This fried rice is a quick stir-fry. Have everything prepped beforehand and next to your wok so that you’re not struggling to chop anything whilst cooking.
- Use a large wok or deep heavy bottomed frying pan. If you’d like to double the recipe, cook in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the wok and run the risk of the fried rice becoming mushy or soggy after adding the sauce.
No. Even though it is named after XO cognac, XO sauce does not contain alcohol. Since it is made from expensive dried seafood and Jinjua ham, the name is meant to indicate that it is of luxurious quality.
Different brands will have different ingredients. But XO sauce is made of dried seafood like dried shrimp, fish, scallops, as well as Jinhua ham, garlic, shallots or onion, chili peppers, sometimes oyster sauce and/or extract, and soybean oil. Some versions will also be made with abalone.
Since it is made of expensive ingredients such as dried seafood and Jinhua ham, XO sauce is one of the pricier Asian sauces on the market.
Once the jar has been opened, seal tightly and store in the refrigerator. Consume by the expiry date.
You can buy char siu pork from a Chinese BBQ/roast meat shop (siu mei – 燒味) in Chinatown, or from a Cantonese restaurant. Here in Hong Kong, it is available at several Chinese BBQ/roast meat shops that are all over the city.
It is relatively healthy if eaten in moderation, especially when made from a lean pork cut like pork butt/shoulder and not pork belly.
More Fried Rice Recipes
- Spicy Thai Pork Fried Rice
- Thai Roasted Chili Fried Rice with Prawns
- Crispy Tofu Spicy Fried Rice
- Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice
- Garlic Salmon Fried Rice
- Browse the entire Chinese and Stir-fry recipe collections.
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XO Sauce Fried Rice (with Char Siu Pork and Prawns)
Juicy jumbo shrimp, char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork), fragrant aromatics, scrambled egg, and crisp veggies come together in this luxurious, savory-sweet and spicy XO Sauce Fried Rice!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Cantonese
For the Sauce:
- 2.5 TBLS XO Sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee Extra Hot XO Sauce, but regular XO Sauce either store-bought or homemade will work)
- 2 TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- 1 TBLS Shao Xing Rice Wine
- 1 TSP Dark Soy Sauce
- ½ TSP Sesame Oil
- ½ TBLS Chinese Chili Oil (optional – with flakes and seeds, store-bought or homemade), to taste
For the XO Sauce Fried Rice:
- 3 TBLS Canola Oil (or any other neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point)
- 1 Extra Large Egg
- ½ TBLS Chili Oil (optional – pure chili oil without flakes/seeds)
- ½ medium Yellow Onion – finely chopped
- 1 Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – finely chopped, white and green parts separated
- 6 Garlic cloves – minced
- 1 TBLS minced Ginger
- 2–10 fresh Red Chilies (Bird’s Eye or any other small hot chili will work), to taste – finely chopped
- 100 grams / 3.5 ounces peeled and deveined Shrimp (or Prawns, size 16/20 recommended) – rinsed well and pat-dried
- 150 – 170 grams / 5.3 – 6 ounces Char Siu Pork (Chinese BBQ pork, store-bought or homemade) – thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 3 cups cooked Long Grain Rice (such as Thai jasmine rice. Cold day-old rice works best.)
- ¼ – ½ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- ¼ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper, to taste
- 1 – 1.5 cups Mung Bean Sprouts – soaked in a bowl of water for 15 minutes in the fridge, then rinsed and drained
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Crack the egg into a small bowl, then season with kosher salt to taste and lightly beat. Chop/prepare the yellow onion, spring onion (make sure to separate the white and green parts), garlic, ginger, red chilies, and char siu pork as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section. Rinse and pat-dry the shrimp. Place the mung bean sprouts in a bowl filled with cold water, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rejuvenate them. Remove from the fridge when ready to cook, and rinse and drain. Set everything aside.
- Make the sauce: Combine the XO Sauce, low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and Chinese chili oil in a small measuring cup (or bowl). Mix well with a spoon until combined well, then set aside.
For the XO Sauce Fried Rice:
- Cook the egg: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, pour in the egg and allow to set for 15-20 seconds. Then scramble until 70% cooked. (No need to break into small pieces until later when adding it back into the fried rice.) It should still be slightly runny and uncooked. Transfer back into the bowl you beat the eggs in and set aside.
- Stir-fry the aromatics: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil and pure chili oil (if using) in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the yellow onion and spring onion white parts. Sauté for a minute until the onion has slightly softened. Add the garlic, ginger, and red chilies. Stir-fry to combine for 30-40 seconds until fragrant.
- Cook the shrimp and add char siu pork: Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute, tossing occasionally, until they start to develop some color. Then add the char siu pork and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the rice and sauce: Add the rice and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry, using a scooping motion to break up the clumps, until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce.
- Add the seasonings and egg: Season with freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and ground white pepper to taste, and add the semi-cooked egg back into the wok. Break up the egg into small pieces with your spatula, and stir-fry to combine everything.
- Toss through the mung bean sprouts and spring onion greens: Add the mung bean sprouts and spring onion green parts. Toss for 20 seconds until combined well and the bean sprouts have slightly wilted, then switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide the fried rice evenly onto plates (or into bowls). Garnish with more chopped spring onion if desired and serve immediately.
- XO Sauce: This is a savory umami-packed Cantonese sauce made from dried seafood, Jinhua pork, aromatics, and chili peppers. You can find it at an Asian supermarket. I used Lee Kum Kee Extra Hot XO Sauce, but you can use the regular kind if a milder flavor is desired. There are several brands available, but Lee Kum Kee is the most readily available brand outside of Hong Kong. Feel free to use a homemade one if you prefer.
- Be careful not to add too much oil from the XO sauce jar when measuring it out for the sauce. You want a little bit of oil for some of the spicy flavors it has, but not too much so that the fried rice is drowning in oil.
- Storing and leftovers: Store leftovers in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high power, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.
- Recipe inspired by Marion’s Kitchen and egg cooking method adopted from the The Woks of Life.
Shop the Recipe
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 670
- Sugar: 7.2g
- Sodium: 1308.1mg
- Fat: 33.3g
- Saturated Fat: 4.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 18.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 63.3g
- Fiber: 2.5g
- Protein: 31.6g
- Cholesterol: 154.3mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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