Saturday 12 January 2008


steamed spareribs with black beans & garlic
One of my favourite dishes to order at a Dim Sum restaurant is Steamed Spareribs. Usually the spareribs are made with a black bean and garlic sauce. Some restaurants like to add sliced chilli peppers to the dish and others make a sparerib dish with salted red plums.

This dish is an old standby at our home because it goes so well with a bowl of white rice. All you need to round out the meal is a big plate of stir-fried veggies.

1 lb pork spareribs, cut into one-inch chunks
2 t Black Bean & Garlic Sauce (Lee Kum Kee Brand) * see note
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t cornstarch
1 dash of pure sesame oil
1/4 t white pepper
1 t shaoxing wine
a pinch of sugar
1 T chopped green onions
2 pickled salted plums (optional), rinsed, pitted and cut into 3 pieces (these are found in a jar in brine)
1 sliced fresh chili pepper (optional) or 1/4 t chili sauce
1T vegetable oil

note: * if you don't have this prepared sauce, or if you are GLUTEN FREE you can replace it with 1 T rinsed salted black beans and 1 clove of minced garlic. Lightly mash the beans and garlic in a mortar and pestle
  • Ensure that the spareribs are clean of bone fragments by washing the meat under cold running water. The meat should appear lighter in colour after this washing process. This will also help improve the texture of the ribs.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the oil and then add the prepared salted plums, black bean garlic sauce, minced garlic and optional chili sauce. Stir, cooking the ingredients on medium high heat until the mixture is fragrant. Do not burn. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the washed spareribs with the cornstarch, sesame oil, white pepper, shaoxing wine and sugar, combining thoroughly.
  • Add the prepared black bean sauce mixture to the sparerib mixture and thoroughly combine. Spread the sparerib mixture evenly in a heatproof dish for steaming.
  • Steam on high heat for 20 minutes
  • Sprinkle the chopped green onions on top and serve

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