Edit (July 10, 2013): I just realized my mistake. Garlic should be “1 whole” not “1clove”, as I wrote in the first version. I’ve edited now. Sorry for this, folks!
I recently rediscovered this dish that I used to cook years ago when my family was small and I had more time to experiment in the kitchen. The renewed interest was inspired by this Hong Kong style sparerib recipe.
Steamed spareribs are easy and convenient for busy households. The meat is prepared ahead of time, and left to marinate in the fridge. In the morning, simply cook in a steamer while you go about your other tasks before sending the kids off to school.
1 kilo skinless spareribs, cut into 1.5-2 inch pieces (I ask the butcher to remove the skin before he chops the meat into pieces)
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
(*Note: You can prepare the garlic, onion and ginger in a food processor if you have it. I use the mortar and pestle to grind them together to a fairly fine consistency.)
2 tablespoons black bean garlic sauce (I use the Lee Kum Kee brand. 1 tbsp mashed salted black beans [tausi] can be used instead.]
2-4 tablespoons plum sauce (not to be confused with hoisin sauce)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional. If I’m preparing this for school lunch, I skip the chili.)
1-2 tablespoons sugar
salt and/or soy sauce to taste
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1. Prepare the meat: Drain the meat well, and remove excess liquid with a clean towel. Place meat in a dish, and sprinkle with cornstarch. Coat the meat pieces lightly. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
2. Prepare black bean sauce.
- Heat cooking oil in a small pan. Saute garlic, onions, ginger over low heat for about 1 minute. Add black bean sauce or mashed tausi, and continue cooking over low fire.
- Add plum sauce, sugar, chili oil (optional) and salt. Adjust sugar and salt to your taste. Add some soy sauce if you prefer. Let mixture bubble in pan over low heat for about a minute until it becomes thick. Keep stirring. Remove pan from heat.
3. Pour black bean sauce over the spareribs, and mix well. Cover the dish and let marinate in fridge at least an hour, best overnight.
4. Place marinated spareribs in a heatproof dish, and place in a steamer. Cook covered over steam for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not add water, as the meat will give off liquid, which should be enough for “sabaw” sauce over rice.
5. Serve with hot rice!
Did you try this? Please let me know how it turned out – leave a comment below!