Spare Ribs in Black Bean Garlic Sauce

You’ve likely had this steamed dish - spare ribs in black bean garlic sauce at dim sum (“yum cha” 喝茶). It’s also a delicious to have at dinner with steamed rice and a side of bak choy or chinese broccoli.

I’m a bit of a purist and prefer to make my own black bean garlic paste but you can also get a jar of Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce that you can use for this and other dishes like Shrimp and Lobster Sauce. To make the paste, the trickiest part is to find fermented black beans but they are available at Chinese grocery stores. See photo below for a look at the package.

Serves 2-3
Prep time: 10 min + 30 min marinating time (optional)
Cook time: 40 min

1 lbs pork spare ribs, cut into individual pieces
3/4 tbsp fermented black beans (see package below)
1 tbsp of garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper

Wash and drain the spare ribs and place in a large dish for steaming.

Using a mortar and pestle or a heavy dish, mash and mix the garlic and fermented black beans to create a paste. Mix in the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and black pepper to make the sauce.

Add the sauce to the ribs and let it sit for 30 min. It’s OK if the sauce doesn’t coat all ribs completely, the black beans are salty and have a strong flavour. The marinating process is optional but enhances the flavours.

Steam the ribs for 40 min until fully cooked.
Ribs cooked in a steamer/ double boiler

Fermented black beans
Garlic and fermented black beans paste


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