Steamed Spareribs with Bean Paste

When I feel down and out, I always head out to my cave. That cave is in Chinatown where it seems that every time I do my weekly grocery, I discover a small store that sells something very unique from all other stores that are usually selling one and the same thing. That’s Chinatown and actually East Asia for you in a small two to three block radius at the downtown core. I’d go to Chinatown to unwind and to eat either dimsum or noodles. A Chinese feast is reserved for the Chinese New Year or a small gathering with friends whom I don’t normally see as often.  I’m almost always either alone doing my thing or everybody is else is busy doing their thing. At any rate, Chinatown is my hiding place; away from the noise, the people and the food of the place where I work. That’s one thing I want to be away from on the eve of my day-off, which rarely happens over the summer.

Just recently, I posted a Beef Tripe Dimsum which I would order at my favourite hide away on my weekly visit. And to pair the tripe with is a Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce.  I just love this Steamed Pork Rib by itself or with Rice. The sauce that’s poured on the meat with rice makes it stand out and shine.  I love it both ways, and it totally depends on the time I arrive at the restaurant to order my regular fares. If I come in early, I would usually just enjoy my tea for ten to fifteen minutes until the carts start rolling out from the kitchen and the dimsum ladies begin their shouting sell-off. Many of these women don’t speak or speak little English and the only way to have your way is to stand up and check the carts themselves or ask the servers to be on the safe side. I do that and have been lucky lately of choosing the most delectable and sometimes unrecognizable dimsum. I stay safe, and stick to my regulars. If there are new ones, I consider myself lucky. I gun for meat, nothing else. Everything else is more or less the same.  I’m sure to sleep soundly after that.

I like my dimsum savoury. I noticed that the dimsum in other carts are also available outside except maybe for the congee and the wraps which have to be served as fresh as possible. Otherwise, many are accessible to the public in the market itself.

I’ve seen the ribs at the grocery shelves and envisioned how it’s cooked and prepared. I was lucky enough to recapture the taste to my liking. I know that Fermented Black Beans or Black Bean Paste is commonly and traditionally used by many .  However, I decided to use the Bean Paste I had in fridge, and it didn’t frustrate me.


  • Package of Pork Ribs
  • Bean Paste
  • Ginger, Julienned
  • Green Onion, Julienned
  • Garlic, minced
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine
  • Cornstarch
  • Ground Black Pepper

Cut the ribs in bite size pieces and marinate with Light Soy Sauce and Shaoxing Cooking Wine.

Dust with cornstarch, and season with salt and pepper.

Mince some garlic and chop a stalk of green onion and sauté in a wok followed by the pork ribs.

Dowse with Shaoxing Cooking Wine and continue stirring. Let it boil to simmer once and transfer to ramekins.

Add about ½ teaspoon of bean paste in the ramekin bowl and let it steam until tender.

Garnish with finely julienned Green Onion and Ginger.