Multi-layered flavour penetrating the tender meat, braised spare ribs with black bean sauce is a scrumptious treat requiring effortless preparation.
If you have had Cantonese dim sum brunch, you might know a dish called steamed spare ribs with black beans (豉汁蒸排骨). Bite-sized ribs seasoned by whole black beans and other Chinese condiment. It’s one of my favourite dim sum dishes. Inspired by this classic delicacy, I created a recipe using my homemade “spicy black bean sauce”. It’s finger-licking good, and it’s super easy to cook.
The dim sum steamed ribs have a chewy texture, whereas my braised spare ribs with black bean sauce is much tenderer. Cooked in liquid for at least 40 minutes, most of the meat falls off the bone quite easily. The braising process also helps the pungent flavour of black bean sauce to penetrate the meat.
In Chinese cuisine, braised meat dishes often involve procedures as follow:
- Blanche the meat to remove most of the impurities. Make sure you put the meat into cold water then heat up (instead of putting it into boiling water).
- In a clean pot, fry onion, ginger or garlic, etc. in a bit of oil to release their aroma. For today’s recipe, I use yellow onion (for its natural sweetness) and ginger.
- Stir in drained meat. Add seasoning and water. Leave to simmer.
- When the meat is fully cooked, uncover the pot then cook on a full heat to reduce and thicken the liquid. You should skip this procedure on two conditions: if the liquid is rather clear and can be consumed as a soup on its own, or the braising dish is cooked for a noodle soup dish.
In my braised spare ribs with black bean sauce, the key flavour comes from my homemade spicy black bean sauce (find the recipe here) which has a complex and multi-layered taste. You may use either the classic version or the mushroom version.
If you don’t have time to make homemade sauce in advance, please feel free to use shop-bought black bean sauce. Lee Kum Kee black bean garlic sauce is a good option. Due to the different levels of saltiness, you might need to adjust the volume of the sauce needed.