June 24, 2017

Chinese Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨

Black Bean, cantonese, chinese, dim sum, recipe, steamed ribs, Steamed Spareribs, pork ribs, 豉汁排骨, 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨
By Published: 2017-06-24
This Cantonese dish of Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨 is pretty darn good.  A taste of home, a real classic.  It's a staple of the Chinese dim sum lunch and tea time, usually served in dainty bamboo steamers in small but utterly yummilicious portions of tender pork and delicious fat, all marinated through and through with the umami that is properly prepared fermented black bean sauce.  

When we have it for dinner at home we like to make it in a much larger portion, being the carnivores that we are, and we finish it all in one a whoosh or two.  It's hard to think of a dish that is easier to prepare and more rewarding in terms of effort vs results!

Black Bean, cantonese, chinese, dim sum, recipe, steamed ribs, Steamed Spareribs, pork ribs, 豉汁排骨, 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨

You'll need to use fermented black bean sauce 豆豉醬 or fermented black bean sauce with garlic 蒜蓉豆豉醬 as part of the marinade. Black bean sauce is ubiquitous in Cantonese food.  You can steam or stir fry with it.  Black bean sauce provides whatever food it's paired with a unique flavor kick: beany, salty, slightly bitter and slightly sweet.  A kind of umami if the sauce is made right.  

You can buy the black bean sauce pre-prepared, with or without garlic added.  But I find the pre-prepared stuff, the kind that most the Chinese restaurants use, not very tasty at all.  If you want to up the level of your dish a major number of notches I would recommend you make black bean sauce yourself.  A wee bit of time but WORTH it.  

For top tasty marks try out my 老公's amazing and authentic Chinese black bean sauce 蒜蓉豆豉醬 here.
Black Bean, cantonese, chinese, dim sum, recipe, steamed ribs, Steamed Spareribs, pork ribs, 豉汁排骨, 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨
This photo show spareribs, not rib tips.  Will try to get rib tips photo later!
The other secret to making really fabulous Steamed Spareribs besides making your own black bean sauce is choosing the right ribs.  When we first started making this dish at home we would always think...hum...why was it not quite as tender as the spareribs in the dim sum restaurants?  We finally realized that, duh, it was the cut of the meat that was making the difference.  

The dim sum restaurants use pork rib tips (also known as pork brisket) which are the end bits of the spareribs that have no bone, only cartilage.  When steamed these rib tips are just gorgeous: tender, fatty, flavorful with no sharp bones to cut up your mouth.  You can buy rib tips at your local butcher, if you can't see them ask for them.  At your HK local wet market butcher ask for 豬軟骨.  Rib tips are major yummm!

And that's all really.  It's pretty simple.  Make your own black bean sauce using our authentic and super flavor packed black bean sauce recipe.  Get the right cut of ribs.  Follow these few steps and you will end up with the most tender and delicious Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean 豉汁排骨 that are just as delicious as 媽媽's!

Note to Fruit Fans:  It's lychee time of the year!  It's time to go and get yourself some luscious lychee to stuff your face with.  We've had some and OMG they are sooooo super juicy and sweet this year!

Black Bean, cantonese, chinese, dim sum, recipe, steamed ribs, Steamed Spareribs, pork ribs, 豉汁排骨, 蒜蓉豆豉蒸排骨
Chinese Steamed Spareribs w/ Black Bean
Prep time:    Cook time: 



Rinse spareribs and drain well.  If not yet separated, separate into individual ribs and chop into 1" pieces.  

Add salt, white pepper, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, black bean sauce and garlic (*if needed).  Add 2 tbsp or so of water until the marinade is wet and clinging to the spareribs.  Add starch and mix well.  Cover and marinate for 15-20 mins or overnight for  maximum flavor.

Pour marinated pork into a shallow heat resistant plate and steam over medium high heat for 20 mins, or until pork is thoroughly cooked through and not pink inside.  Sprinkle spring onions over and serve hot.  Enjoy!

Tip:  To get your hot, hot, hot plate of steamed spareribs out of the hot, hot, hot steamer without dropping it (trust me, it's not fun, I've done it) get yourself one of these hot plate clamps.



  1. This recipe sounds wonderful! I have the spare ribs ready to make this tomorrow. I'm curious, some recipes have ginger it, but I noticed this one doesn't. Is ginger not a traditional ingredient in this dish?

    1. Hi Jo - according to my 老公 ginger is not necessary. However, if you like to have that extra gingery kick in the flavor layers, you can definitely add it in. We sometimes add thinly sliced ginger, usually in the more simple steamed spareribs dishes, and it is very nice. ~ellen

  2. hi, can you do a recepie of egg foo young ?.