Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Steamed Chinese Black Bean Spareribs


Tonight I made my mother in law’s sweet & sour spareribs by request from my husband. While I was shopping for the ribs, one pack wasn’t enough and two was too much. So I decided to make a batch of black bean spareribs to go along with tonight’s dinner. The crazy thing was that I had all the ingredients on hand and it seemed like a good idea thinking that both would make great leftovers.

Steamed black bean spareribs are one of my favorite dishes to order at dim sum restaurants. Fork tender bite size pieces of meaty/fatty spareribs distinctively flavored with fermented black beans and garlic. It’s one of those comfort foods that you either love or you don’t.
There are many ways to make black bean flavored dishes. Some of the most recognizable are stir fried, stewed and steamed. The basic recipe, consist of the black beans flavored with a few simple ingredients to create this unique flavor. I have not tried it, but am told that the jarred Lee Kum Kee brand of black bean sauce is well worth trying.
I served stir fried zucchini, onions, peppers and mushrooms on the side flavored with oyster sauce. If you would prefer, you could mix them in with the spareribs and have a one dish meal.
This is my rendition of;
1 ½ pounds spareribs, cut into bite size pieces
Green onions, for garnish
2 Tbsp. dried salted black beans, soaked and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. ginger, minced
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. oil
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Have the butcher cut the spareribs into 1” strips through the bone. Then cut the spareribs between the bones into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
Soak the black beans in cold tap water for 5 min. and drain.
Chop the black beans into almost a paste and place in the bowl with the spareribs. Add all the rest of the sauce ingredients and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Place in a steamer and steam for 30 – 40 minutes, until fork tender.

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