Steamed Black Bean Spare Ribs (Douchi Pai Gu)
I was surprised that these were so popular as a dim sum favorite! We always ordered them but they were just.. something there that I ate, rather than something I would go to dim sum in search of. I tried making this a few ways, marinating the pork and then adding the cornstarch slurry after, mixing the cornstarch into the marinade itself, and I didn’t find a noticeable difference any which way, so here I’m sharing the simplest version.
For the riblets, they’re definitely an Asian cut that you can find at Ranch 99, H-mart, and the like. Most conventional grocers won’t carry it and the most they can do is cut a rack of ribs in half. I prefer my ribs smaller so I’ll seek out an Asian grocer for them.
More behind-the-scenes on how to make is over on Reels!
- 1 lb pork riblets — riblets works best but you can also ask your butcher to cut ribs into smaller pieces for you, though they can usually only cut them into large ~1.5-2 inch pieces
- 2 tsp fermented black beans
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated (~1 tsp)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp of white pepper
- 1 tbsp water
- garnish: green onion, chilis
- Cut your riblets into individual sections. Rinse and drain a few times, you’re trying to get rid of the blood at this point
- Rinse black beans and soak in shaoxing wine for 10 mins
- Combine sauces, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch into a bowl. Smash the black beans and shaoxing wine and add them to the marinade
- Coat and marinate ribs for at least 30 minutes
- Transfer the pork to the steaming plate and top with the black bean remnants from the marinade
- Steam over medium-high heat for ~15 minutes until ribs are no longer pink. Steaming time depends on size of your plate and how densely stacked the pork pieces are
- Garnish with scallions and sliced chilis