XOPP’s Prawn Mini Mantou, XO Mayonnaise and XO Sauce

Yields: 25

XOPP is a wonderful Sydney restaurant, a spin off of the sensational and institutional Golden Century.

The signature dish between the two restaurants is surely known by half the city: the Wok Fried Pippies with XO Sauce and Crispy Vermicelli.

We cooked this particular dish over Sydney’s last lockdown and it is just awesome. One of most identifiable dishes in Sydney.

Anyway, when we ate at XOPP, we kicked it off with their Prawn Mini Mantou with XO Mayonnaise and XO Sauce.

A predictably decadent plate of the most wonderful bites: a warm, soft bun with a golden, deep-fried, crispy outside, filled with chopped prawns mixed with a kewpie mayonnaise, chopped chives and XO sauce.

They haven’t published the recipe, though Nat and I figured it wasn’t that complicated and walked it back. And it is simple.

For a family gathering where entry required a plate, we did these buns and they were spot on. Absolutely spot on. They disappeared in under a minute.

Mantou buns are in the frozen section of any Asian grocer; ditto XO sauce, though always get the best you can find.

No doubt in the next little while we will do a contemporary Chinese banquet and these will absolutely get a run.

Ingredients:

25 Mantou buns
800gm large, cooked prawns
6 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise (or to taste)
1 heaped tsp XO Sauce, plus extra to serve
Half a bunch of chives, cut into 2mm pieces
Vegetable oil to deep fry

Method

  1. Heat enough vegetable oil to fill a reasonable pot to 170c. Test the heat by lowering the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. If it immediately bubbles, you’re there and reduce the heat slightly.
  2. Pick and clean the prawns. Pulse in a food process until you have 5mm and 1cm piece of prawn. Stir through the mayonnaise, tasting as you go. Stir through the XO sauce, adding more if needed.
  3. Deep fry the buns, a few at a time, ensuring all sides are golden. Drain and set aside on paper towels.
  4. Whilst still warm, slice an incision in the top of the bun. Place a small amount of the prawn mixture into the incision and then a pea-sized amount of XO sauce on top.
  5. Serve immediately.

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