XO sauce is a funky chilli and pork sauce that adds a wonderful depth of flavour to Chinese dishes, but it takes time and lots of ingredients to make at home. This is a great little shortcut, using a jar of ready-made bacon jam (easily available online and in supermarkets) and adding a twist with soy sauce, fish sauce and rice vinegar.


Serves: 4

  • 350g (12oz) red cabbage (about 1/3), finely shredded
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot (150g/5oz), peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) jar bacon jam
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 bird's-eye chilli, finely chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Put the shredded cabbages and carrot into a salad bowl. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl, pour over the salad and toss to combine. Set aside to soften and macerate.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken and fry over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes on each side until just cooked. Set aside to rest.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan warm the bacon jam with the fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli.
  4. Chop the chicken and add to the salad with the warm bacon jam. Toss to combine before serving.