Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce Recipe

Steamed Spare Ribs Black Bean Sauce

Getty Images / IslandLeigh

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
444 Calories
36g Fat
4g Carbs
25g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 444
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 728mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 376mg 8%
*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.)

These spareribs are steamed Chinese-style with salted (fermented) black beans, tangerine peel, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Spareribs are pork and cut from the bottom section of the ribs and breastbone of the pig, just above the belly. 

You will often find these steamed spareribs as part of a Chinese dim sum. Dim sum literally means "to touch your heart," and the spread consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes, and other goodies.


  • 1 pound pork spareribs, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips

  • 1 (1-inch) piece dried tangerine peel

  • 2 tablespoons salted black beans

  • 1 teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (NOT Japanese sake or mirin)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 small red or green chile pepper, sliced, optional

  • 1 green onion, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut 1 pound pork spareribs crosswise between the bones into 1-inch pieces. Trim off excess fat. Put ribs into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Soak the optional 1-inch piece of dried tangerine peel in hot water for 10 minutes.

  4. Drain, finely mince and set aside.

  5. Rinse the 2 tablespoons salted (fermented) black beans with warm water; drain.

  6. Gently mash the beans, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a paste.

  7. Stir in the tangerine peel, 1 tablespoon each dark soy sauce and light soy sauce or 2 tablespoons light soy sauces, 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and 1 red or green sliced chile pepper, if using.

  8. Pour over the spareribs and mix well.

  9. Transfer to a shallow, 9-inch, heat-proof plate (a glass pie plate is perfect) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  10. Let the plate of ribs come to room temperature.

  11. Place in the steamer, cover and steam over boiling water (medium-high heat) for 45 minutes. Check water level frequently and replenish with boiling water when needed.

Recipe Source: Joyce Jue. Reprinted with permission.

The Tradition of Dim Sum

Dim sum is a Cantonese custom, linked to the Chinese tradition of yum cha or drinking tea. Teahouses sprung up to accommodate weary travelers journeying along the famous Silk Road. Rural farmers, exhausted after long hours working in the fields, would also head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and relaxing conversation. Small bites food were eventually served with the tea and dim sum was born.

Recipe Tags: