Dim Sum Spare Ribs w/ Black Beans

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I LOVE dim sum. And one of the things I always get every time I go to dim sum is these steamed pork spare ribs with Chinese black beans. Most dishes you get at dim sum are not easy to recreate at home, but this one is an exception—it is super simple! In this video I also show you how to steam dishes even if you don’t have an actual steamer at home. Enjoy!


Serves 2-3

  • 350g spare rib tips (see note)
  • 4-5 slices ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1½ Tbsp cornstarch
  • Diced red bell peppers for colour, or sliced jalapenos if you want some spiciness, optional
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Note: You can get these dim sum style pork ribs at Chinese butchers. Alternatively, you can get a rack of spare ribs and separate them into individual pieces. Since the pieces are larger, you will need longer cooking time.


In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and ginger into a fine paste; alternatively finely grate or mince them and transfer into a small bowl. Add soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, sugar, white pepper, toasted sesame oil, and rinsed black beans; stir to combine.

Place the pork ribs into a zip-top plastic bag and pour the marinade into it. Squeeze out as much as as possible, then squish the pork around to make sure all pieces are evenly coated in the marinade. It will not look like much marinade, but trust me, this is all you need! Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day in advance.

Transfer the pork into a mixing bowl and sprinkle cornstarch over it. Toss the pork until the cornstarch is evenly distributed. Transfer the pork into a heat-resistant bowl that can go into your steamer (a wider bowl is better). Steam the pork over boiling water for 30-45 minutes or until the ribs are fork tender but not falling off the bones (the size I have in the videos took about 40 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the ribs are done, throw in some diced red bell peppers or jalapenos and let them steam with the ribs. When the ribs are done, sprinkle the green onions on top and close the lid for about 1 minute to steam the green onions slightly.

Carefully remove the plate from the steamer (use oven mitts!) and serve. They can be enjoyed on their own or some some rice!

Tip: Naturally, spare ribs will release a lot of fat while they are steamed, so the finished plate will have a lot of fat on top. This is fine as most people just eat the ribs and leave behind the fat or any sauce in the bowl, but if this bothers you or if you want to be able to pour the sauce over rice without the extra fat, you can transfer the ribs into a new serving bowl, leaving the fat and the sauce behind. Then skim off the fat and pour the sauce over the ribs. If not serving immediately, you can also refrigerate the sauce to solidify the fat so you can easily remove it.

Love the show? Support us!