Steamed Black Bean Spare Ribs

Recipe by lacezhangDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Cantonese cuisine uses a light hand, allowing the flavours of an ingredient to shine through, never overpowering or drowning its essence. Thus, for this classic dim sum dish, keeping things light is essential alongside clean-tasting meat. The fermented black beans used here are pungent and can easily dominate the entire dish if we’re not careful. We want to imbue, not attack, the meat with it. Beans, chillies or garlic — no single aromatic should dominate. Instead, they should all work together harmoniously to produce a coveted balance, in food as in life.

Recipe & Excerpt is taken from my second cookbook, "Around the Dining Table - An Asian-Inspired Modern Feast".


  • Serves 2

  • 300 g pork spare ribs, cut into 2.5- to 4-cm chunks

  • 1 1/4 tsp fermented black beans, rinsed briefly

  • 3 tsp light soy sauce 1 tsp white sugar

  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

  • Red chillies for garnishing, chopped

  • Spring onions for garnishing, chopped

  • garlic oil

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • First, prepare the garlic oil. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over low heat and add the garlic. Stir constantly until garlic is lightly golden. Remove from heat, transfer the garlic and oil to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • In a heatproof bowl, place pork ribs with black beans, soy sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and garlic oil. Let it marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
  • To cook, prepare a steaming basket, or a wok with a lid and steaming rack. Bring steaming water to the boil. Over high heat, steam the pork ribs mixture for 10–12 minutes, until tender and infused with flavour.
  • Garnish with chillies and spring onions, and serve hot.

About Me


When not working on recipes in her kitchen, cranking up her overused commercial (yes, you read that right) oven at home, Lace can be found reading about food, writing impassioned paragraphs about food, thinking about food till the wee hours of the night, shopping for groceries as a serious sport, or gazing longingly at bakery displays.




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