One of our favorite occasional indulgences is Chinese dim sum, and one of my favorite dim sum dishes is spare ribs with black beans. In Asia, black beans (douchi) aren’t the same black beans you get at Chipotle; they’re actually a fermented and salted version of soy beans. This recipe is basically my take on this dish but without the beans.
Part of this dish’s unique taste is the combination of sweet and salty with a subtle fermented twinge – in order to pull this signature fermented taste off, I added dashes of oyster sauce and fish sauce, and it came out beautifully.
3 lbs pork spareribs, cut into chunks
6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp wheat-free tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp five spice blend
1/2 tsp fish sauce
Chop up the spare ribs as much as possible, so you have an assortment of pieces. Most spare ribs that you find in restaurants are usually chopped smaller than what you see above, but I don’t own a cleaver (yet). Combine the ribs will all of the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Marinate the ribs for two hours in the fridge and then place them in a round cake pan.
Place the cake pan in a wok or fryer and fill the wok with enough water so that it’s within an inch of the cake pan’s rim.
Cover and steam on med-high heat for an hour, refilling the water if it gets really low (it probably won’t). Don’t be alarmed if the wok starts moving around.
Let it cool for a few minutes and serve.
My wok went a little crazy during steaming. My wife kept thinking someone was knocking at the front door: