Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce

Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
631 Calories
55g Fat
2g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 631
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 70%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 468mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 469mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chinese spareribs with black bean sauce are a tasty and simple dish to make at home. It works great as a main or side dish. This is a great recipe for cooks who like the one pan method of cooking. The whole meal can be completed with the use of one wok or frying pan. 

Traditionally, this dish is made with fermented whole black beans, while they can be found in any Chinese grocery store a simple prepared black bean sauce makes this dish much easier to cook. The prepared black bean sauce takes the work out of rinsing and mashing fermented black beans without sacrificing the flavor. The sauce is an essential time saver for any busy cook who wants a fast meal but doesn't want to miss out on great flavors. 

"These little spareribs were delicious! The flavor was perfect, and they were very easy to prepare and cook in a wok. No marinating time, and they were done in about 30 minutes start to finish. Have the meat department or butcher cut the ribs in half or thirds crosswise." —Diana Rattray

Easy Chinese spareribs with black bean sauce
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 pounds pork spareribs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons oil, for stir-frying

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons water, optional

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce with garlic, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Trim ribs and cut into 1-inch pieces.

    Trim the ribs and cut into 1-inch pieces

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

    combine the sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Heat a wok to medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is ready, add ginger and stir-fry until aromatic (about 15 seconds).

    ginger in a wok

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Add spareribs, stir-frying until they are lightly browned. Add sauce.

    Add the spareribs to the wok

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. If you would like a thicker sauce, stir together cornstarch and water slurry and add it to wok. Simmer, stirring, until sauce thickens.

    Spareribs With Black Bean Sauce in a wok

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


  • You could use a cleaver to cut the ribs, but it's much easier to leave it to your butcher or someone in your meat department. Ask the butcher to cut the slab of ribs in half or into thirds crosswise to make the smaller riblets. Before cooking, make sure to rinse the ribs under cold water to ensure there are no bone fragments clinging to the meat. Pat them with paper towels to dry and continue with the recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • For extra garlic flavor, add 1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic to the wok along with the ginger.
  • For an attractive presentation, finish the ribs with a garnish of chopped scallions.
  • Cut a medium onion into 1-inch chunks and add them to the ginger in the wok; stir-fry for 1 additional minute before adding the ribs.

How to Store

You can package leftover spareribs in a shallow airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

For longer storage, freeze in an airtight container or zip-close freezer bags for 3 to 6 months.

What's in Chinese black bean sauce?

Chinese black bean sauce usually includes fermented black soybeans, garlic, and soy sauce, along with salt and sugar, and may include spices and a thickener.