Steamed Pork Ribs with Fermented Black Beans

Thursday, 15 October 2009

One of my favourite dishes is steamed pork ribs with fermented black beans, a standard item at dim sum restaurants. But I don't like ordering it when I'm on a Sunday dim sum pig-out, because I like to eat it with rice. All that savory, fragrant and umami goodness from the ribs just begs to drench a bowl of steaming white rice! But I can't have rice during a dim sum pig-out because it would take away tummy space for the other goodies, right?

*sigh . . .*

Sometimes, I wish I had four stomachs like a cow.

Hey, hang on a second! 

I'm not a cow but I'm a tigress in the kitchen! I can make my own steamed pork ribs at home. Easy peasy.

To make steamed pork ribs with fermeneted black beans, I start with stir-frying garlic, ginger, fermented black beans and chillies. This is a classic technique used in Chinese cooking to enhance steamed dishes which might be a bit bland otherwise. The ribs are marinated with the aromatic mixture, then steamed till tender. The result is so good and so perfect with a bowl of rice, it's all I want. Nothing else.

(For 2 persons)

250 g pork ribs, chopped into 1-inch long pieces
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp finely minced ginger
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
2 tbsp fermented black beans, roughly chopped
1-2 bird's eye chillies to taste, slice thinly
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
large pinch of sugar
1 tsp cornflour
2 tsp roughly chopped spring onions

Wash and drain ribs. Stir-fry ginger in vegetable oil over medium heat till lightly golden. Add garlic and stir-fry till lightly golden as well. Reduce heat to low. Add fermented black beans and chillies. Stir-fry, drizzling with 1 tbsp wine when the wok is very hot and black beans start to stick to wok. Mixture is very dry because there's very little oil. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp water if necessary to prevent beans from scorching. Stir-fry till mixture is very fragrant. Add to ribs, along with light soya sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Cover and marinate for 2 hours, refrigerated. Add cornflour and mix through. Steam till tender, about 1½ hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Plate and garnish spring onions. Serve with steamed rice.


Genevieve Ngui said...

next project KT....:)

KT said...

This is quite easy. You can do it hopping on your left leg, blindfolded!

Genevieve Ngui said...

thank goodness u suggested the left leg and not the right one since i broke it many years ago...:)..and hopping on it might proved disastrous....HIGH 5 for another winning recipe!!!love it KT...this time with my eyes opened...perhaps the next round???

KT said...

Wow, you must be really good to make so many recipes work!

BTW, forgot to say that the kai lan soup should be made with kai lan from Malaysia, not China. The Malaysian one is quite stringy (read cheap and nasty), so it's good for simmering.

The shorter kai lan from China is good for stir-frying or blanching. And there's a bigger kai lan which is mostly just a big stem, also from China. That's good for stir-frying with something nice, like fresh scallops or good quality dried mushrooms.

Genevieve Ngui said...

hey KT...thanks for kai lan info:)
i'm into mee jawa these days...tried a few recipes found on the net but one tasted like curry mee without the prawns..i'm trying out another one which i got from the malaysian women' weekly...using san remo the way do you know a james siow who used to be the food editor of singapore female mag???his recipes work too..

KT said...

Don't know of James Siow but thanks for the tip. If I come across his recipes, I'll remember what you've said.

lily tam said...

@ Genevieve ....I am a friend of james siow. if you email at i will give you his contact... btw he was doing fashion articles. did not know he can cook??

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