Steamed Spare Ribs in Preserved Black Bean Sauce is one of my favourite dimsum dishes. The meat is usually very tender and juicy, and the sauce is extremely tasty. This recipe involves tenderising the meat in baking soda - a common way of tenderising meats in Chinese restaurants apparently - before actually introducing other flavours. I've used the baking soda method a couple of times for tenderising meat for stir-fries, it works really well, but it leaves a weird aftertaste especially in pork and beef, not so much in chicken for some weird reason, that the wild boar doesn't really like. I'm fine with it since the taste isn't horrible, in fact, it reminds me of Hakka braised pork belly. Nothing is worse than eating tough, chewy meat and this is by far the the best tenderising method I've came across.
The main flavour of this dish comes from preserved or fermented black beans, which are made by fermenting and salting soy beans - a process which turns the beans soft and black. They are either sold as a paste, soaked in oil or dried. The flavour is extremely strong and pungent. They are also very salty, so remember to rinse before use to get rid of the excess salt.
Spare Ribs in Fermented Black Bean SaucePrintable recipe
Adapted from Dodol & Mochi's recipe
Prep time: 10 mins
Marinade time: 1 hr 30 mins - overnight
Cook time: 30 mins
- 550 g spare ribs - chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp baking sodaFor marinade:
- 2 tbs preserved black beans - rinsed a few times and minced
- 1 red chili - de-seeded or not, your choice. cut into small slices.
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tsp Knorr chicken powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Combine spare ribs with sugar and baking soda, leave to stand for about 1 hr to tenderise the meat.
- After the 1 hour is up, wash the spare ribs very well to remove the baking soda; drain well or pat dry to remove excess water
- Combine all ingredients for marinade in a steaming bowl, add ribs, mix well, cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins (preferably overnight).
- Steam on high heat for about 30 mins or until cooked through. [I left the clingfilm on while steaming as I didn't want to accumulate too much liquid in the bowl.]