Spicy scampi and chips with XO mayo

Paul Bloxham adds some Asian flavour to a British favourite with a delicious spiced scampi batter and twice cooked chips served with a seafood sauce
By Paul Bloxham
Spicy scampi and chips with XO mayo
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hr 10 mins soaking
  • Effort: medium


  • 400 g Maris Piper potatoes, washed, peeled, cut into 1cm chips
  • 200 g rice flour
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 330 ml Asian lager
  • 500 g tails large raw Dublin Bay prawns, (langoustine) OR 500g pollock, snapper, haddock or other white fish
  • 150 ml mayonnaise
  • 50 ml XO sauce
  • 1 bunches spring onions, greens only, sliced
  • 1 lemon, quartered for garnish

For the XO sauce

  • 2 tbsp small dried shrimps
  • 10 dried scallops
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • 125 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 large hot red chilli, finely chopped including seeds (or 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 100 g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


1. For the XO sauce: cover the dried shrimps and scallops with boiling-hot water in a small bowl and soak for 1 hour.

2. Transfer scallops and shrimps to a bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid.

3. Shred the scallops into "threads" with a fork or your fingers, discarding the muscle and chop the shrimps finely.

4. Heat wok over medium heat, then add the oil and cook the shallots, garlic, sugar and chilli, stirring gently, until the moisture has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

5. Add shrimp, scallops, pancetta, and Sichuan pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.

6. Add the reserved scallop and shrimp soaking liquid and simmer over low heat until slightly darkened and most of liquid is evaporated leaving only oil about 15 minutes.

7. Transfer the sauce to a jar and cool.

8. For the scampi and chips: soak the chips in cold water for 5-10 mins.

9. Pour the flours, paprika and cayenne pepper into a bowl and slowly whisk in the lager until a light, coating batter is formed. Not all of the lager may be needed.

10. Dredge the langoustines or fish in the batter. Heat a deep fat fryer to 190C. Fry the prawns or fish until golden brown, remove, season with salt and let drain on paper towels.

11. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil again to 190C. Fry the chips in batches until just coloured, drain on kitchen paper and cool slightly. Refry again until golden, remove, season with salt and let drain on paper towels.

12. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, XO sauce and sliced onions.

13. Divide the scampi and chips evenly among four paper lined baskets or bowls, fill four ramekins with the XO mayonnaise and finish with a wedge of lemon.

14. Cooks tip: the XO sauce will keep in the fridge for 1 month.

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