An omnipresent dim sum classic, Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Beans is surprisingly easy enough recreate at home. Whether served with other dim sum, or as part of a larger Chinese meal, this dish is always a crowd pleaser!
Sourcing the right kind of pork rib is essential when making this dish, you want to buy ribs that have plenty of meat on the bone and you don’t want them larger than 3cm (the ribs should be small enough so that they’re chopstick-friendly). Cutting through rib bones at home is always a nightmare, so I would ask your butcher to cut them to size for you.
There are a couple of elements in this dish that come down to personal preference. Firstly, the amount of chilli added. Whilst this always comes down to your own personal tolerance, but even if you don’t have a Teflon gullet like me, a subtle hint of chilli is an absolute must for this dish. Secondly, the consistency of the sauce. My recipe calls for the sauce to be thicken with cornflour however, it is not uncommon for this ingredient to be omitted, resulting in a lighter sauce. I prefer a thicker sauce as it binds to the ribs, giving each bite an extra punch of flavour, but it’s entirely up to you.
Whilst this recipe makes enough for two people (eating it as part of a larger meal), it would probably stretch to feed another – if not for the fact that they are simply irresistible! I must confess that I cannot help but scoff down my “chef’s share” before it leaves the kitchen! So if you are weak-willed like me, please consider your own susceptibility to temptation when making this dish. Otherwise, your guests may go home hungry.
Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Beans: Serves 2 (or 1 very greedy person!)
- 400g pork ribs, 3cm lengths
- 1/2 cup shoaxing wine
- 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. fermented black beans
- 1 tbsp. light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- Sliced red chilli, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp. water (optional)
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- Dash of white pepper
- Combine the shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, sugar, black beans, soya sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a bowl
- Add the pork and mix thoroughly
- Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours
- Place the pork and its marinate into a heatproof bowl that will fit into your steamer basket
- Cover and steam over rapidly boiling water for 40 minutes
- If you want a thicken sauce (if not, skip this step); heat a wok and add the cooked ribs along with all their cooking juices. Add the cornflour and water mixture, stir until the sauce thickens
- Garnish with sliced spring onions and a dash of white pepper