Thursday, 25 September 2014

Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans 豆豉蒸排骨

Steamed spareribs - this is my husband's favourite dim sum dish. In fact, it is many people's favourite dish, me included. It is amazing that something so delicious can also be so ridiculously easy to make. All you have to do is marinade and steam.

The star of the dish is the preserved black beans. It adds a unique flavour to the tender steamed spareribs making it a perfect combination. The co-star is ginger. This humble ginger will actually add flavour and aroma to the dish besides acting as an agent to cast off the meaty odour. A very crucial ingredient indeed!

In order for this dish to be good, the spareribs have to be super tender . And I am revealing to you this not-so-secret ingredient - baking soda. Although spareribs tend to be more tender than other parts, the baking soda will further tenderise the meat and also gives it a springy feel. So for those of you wondering how come your spareribs' texture is flat and not like those you find in the restaurant, do try this method. I'll guarantee you a more springy and tender meat.

Steamed Spareribs with Black Beans


700g spareribs
1 red chili, seeded and sliced
coriander for garnishing
1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp oyster sauce
4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp sesame oil
2 inches ginger, pounded
7-8 cloves garlic, pounded
1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch/corn starch
1 tbsp preserved black beans,  briefly washed and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp shaoxing wine

Cooking Instruction

1. Prepare meat. Cut the spareribs into bite-sized cubes. It is rather difficult to cut through the bones. The best is to ask the butcher to cut it for you when you buy the ribs. Rub baking soda to meat. Add a little water so that it is not too dry. Leave ribs for 1/2 hour. Wash and drain (or pat dry with kitchen towel).

2. Prepare marinade. Meanwhile, pound garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle (or blend in a food processor). Combine all the ingredients for marinade. When ribs are ready, mix ribs in marinade. Throw in the chilli slice. Leave in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours for the ribs to fully absorb the flavour.

3. Steam ribs. In a wok or steamer, steam ribs in high heat for 20 to 30 mins, or until ribs are cooked. Remove from fire and garnish with some coriander. Serve hot.

Some species of red chilli are hotter than others. For those who couldn't take hot, be very careful with the amount of chili used.

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