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!

Douchi (豆豉): Fermented black beans, also sometimes labeled as salted black beans

You’ll need:

  • 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

To make:

  • 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


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