Steamed Chinese Spareribs

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 45m

Serves 6

The Chinese word for "home" is written as a combination of a roof over a pig. The household that boasts a pig or, better still, several pigs, is a lucky one. Pigs represent a certain security against poverty, always fetching a good price at the market.
Spareribs, apart from being an economical way to enjoy China's favorite meat, are enjoyed for their good flavor, particularly when teamed with a robust sauce made from the salted black soy bean.
This is a family dish found commonly in rural southern China. It is interesting to see this home-style dish included and enjoyed in the yum cha menus of today.


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans (dow see) (available at Chinese stores), rinsed under cold water, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Family Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine (available at Chinese stores) or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 pound pork spareribs, chopped through in sections between the ribs
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 fresh red chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Companion recipe: Family Chicken Broth


Heat the peanut oil in a hot wok. Add the black beans, salt, and sugar and sauté gently for 10 seconds. Add the chicken broth, rice wine and light soy sauce. Simmer for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl. Add the spareribs and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Add the cornstarch and mix well to coat the spareribs. Place the ribs on a plate ready for steaming. Sprinkle on the red chili peppers, garlic and cilantro. Steam over boiling water for 45 minutes.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2602

nutrition information per serving

188 calories; 12g total fat; 43mg cholesterol; 436mg sodium; 6g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 12g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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