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dim sum spare ribs sm

Dim Sum Spare Ribs w/ Black Beans

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  • 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, but since the pieces are larger, you will need longer cooking time.

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


  1. 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.
  2. Add soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, sugar, white pepper, toasted sesame oil, and rinsed black beans; stir to combine.
  3. Place pork ribs into a zip-top bag and pour the marinade into it. Squeeze out as much as as possible, then squish the pork around to coat all pieces evenly. 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.
  4. Transfer pork into a mixing bowl and add cornstarch and toss until evenly distributed.
  5. Transfer the pork into a heat-resistant bowl that can go into your steamer (a wider bowl is better). Steam 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.)
  6. About 5 minutes before ribs are done, throw in some diced red bell peppers or jalapenos and let them steam with the ribs.
  7. When ribs are done, sprinkle green onions on top and close the lid for about 1 minute to steam green onions slightly.
  8. Carefully remove the plate from the steamer (use oven mitts!) and serve. They can be enjoyed on their own or with 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 remove the ribs from the sauce, then skim off some fat. If not serving immediately, you can also refrigerate the sauce to solidify the fat so you can easily remove it.

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