Braised Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce

Serves 2–4

Savory fermented black beans nicely complement the delicate sweet flavor of pork in this recipe.

1–1½ pounds spareribs

1 tablespoon fermented black beans

1 garlic clove, minced

2 green onions

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1½ teaspoons sugar

½ cup water

2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying

  • Wash the spareribs, pat dry, and separate. Mash the black beans with the back edge of a knife or cleaver. Mix with the garlic and a bit of water. Cut the green onions into 1-inch pieces.

  • Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and water.

  • Add oil to a preheated wok or skillet. Stir-fry the pork for 2–3 minutes. Add the fermented bean and garlic mixture and stir-fry until aromatic.

  • Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the spareribs are cooked. Stir in the green onions or serve as a garnish.

Fermented Black Beans

These are not the dried black beans that enliven many Mexican dishes. Instead, fermented black beans (also called salted black beans) are made with black soybeans that have been fermented in salt, garlic, and a number of spices. Fermented black beans are sold in cans and plastic bags in Asian markets. In a pinch, black bean sauce can be used as a substitute, but the dish won't have the same flavor.

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