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Octopus and XO Sauce

This dish is as impressive as it is delicious.

Prep Time

    •    Prep and cook time: 1 hour & 15 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    1 tsp salt
    •    2 tbsps raw sugar
    •    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    •    5 garlic cloves, crushed
    •    1/2 tsp native dried pepper
    •    1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
    •    2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
    •    3 long red chillies, thinly sliced
    •    3 brown onions, finely chopped
    •    100g flat pancetta, cut into 5mm pieces
    •    50g dried shrimp (from Asian food shops)
    •    1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
    •    1kg octopus tentacles cleaned, tumbled (tenderised)
    •    finely grated zest & juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve
    •    1 bunch sea parsley (from specialty fruit and veg shops, or flat leaf parsley, leaves picked)


  1. To make the XO sauce, soak shrimp in boiling water for 20 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes or until onion begins to colour. Add shrimp and pancetta and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until pancetta begins to brown. Stir in spices then stock, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until thickened.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat a lightly greased large chargrill or barbecue to high. Cut the octopus tentacles into singular pieces and place in a large bowl with olive oil. Season to taste and chargrill in batches, turning frequently, for 6-8 minutes or until cooked and charred all over. Place octopus in a large, clean bowl with lemon juice and three-quarters of the sea parsley. Drizzle with some more olive oil, season to taste and toss to combine.

  3. Place octopus in a large serving bowl and spoon over XO sauce. Scatter with remaining sea parsley and serve with extra lemon wedges alongside.

This great family recipe is thanks to delicious Recipes at


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