Steamed Chinese Spare Ribs with Black Beans with a side of rice on the side

Steamed Chinese Spare Ribs with Black Beans

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main, Asian
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Steamed Chinese spare ribs with fermented black beans is quick and easy to make and big on flavour – this no longer has to be a dim sum only dish!



  • 1 1/2 lbs pork side ribs (spare ribs)
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (or 1 teaspoon of sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil [optional]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoonfermented black beans
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy [optional]
  • 23 cloves garlic (minced very finely)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon oil (to drizzle right before steaming)


  • 1 stalk green onion (finely chopped)
  • 12 birdseye chili (finely sliced) [optional]
  • toasted sesame seeds [optional]


Marinate the Pork

  1. Cut the pork into 1 inch bite-sized pieces and place it in a bowl
  2. Rinse the fermented black beans (Optional)
  3. On a cutting board, use the sides of your knife to smush the fermented black beans gently to break their skins. Add it to the bowl
  4. Finely chop up the garlic and add it to the bowl (make sure you mince this really finely so they can cook quicker during the short steaming process)
  5. Add maple syrup (or sugar), soy sauce, dark soy, sesame oil and water to the bowl and mix the marinade well with the pork. Set it aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes in room temperature.
  6. Once 15-20 minutes have passed, add the corn starch into the meat and mix well with the marinade to form a slurry to coat all the meat. (If there is not enough marinade to create a slurry, add 1 tablespoon of water to the meat and mix well until the meat is well coated with the marinade slurry, there shouldn’t be any dry clumps of corn starch.)

Steaming the Pork

  1. Using a wok or high walled pan set the bamboo steamer/metal doohickey/criss-crossed wooden chopsticks to the bottom of the pan or wok
  2. Add in water til it reaches just below the bottom of the steamer/metal doohickey/criss-crossed wooden chopsticks. You don’t want the water to touch the bottom of your plate during the steaming process.
  3. Set the stove to medium-high to high heat, cover your wok or pan with a lid (unless you are using a bamboo steamer – use the bamboo lid instead) and wait approximately 10 minutes for it to get hot and for the steam to build up in the pan.
  4. Place the meat on a plate or shallow bowl and try to layer it into a single layer
  5. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on top of the meat evenly and put it in the steamer when it is hot
  6. Steam for 8-10 minutes (depending on how big the chunks of meat are)
  7. Once cooked, remove from steamer and add garnishes and serve hot with rice! 🙂


  • You can substitute sugar in place of the maple syrup if you don’t have maple syrup or honey. Cut the amount by half if you are using sugar
  • Ask your butcher to cut the side ribs into 1 inch strips length wise. You can chop the ribs up into smaller bite sized pieces at home.
  • If you don’t have a steamer, you can create a makeshift one with a pair of chopsticks set on the bottom of the wok criss-crossed. You will need a lid for the pan for this method
  • We add water to the marinade to create a mini brine for the marination. The pork will absorb this water.
  • If you are using bamboo steamers, quickly run them under water to give them a bit of a soak before steaming


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 640 kcal
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 916 mg
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Protein: 49 g

Keywords: chinese spare ribs, steamed spare ribs, steamed pork ribs, chinese pork ribs, black bean sauce

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