• Black Bean Spare Ribs with Green Onion


Make Extra, These are Addictive.

I’ve made these ribs hundreds of times. I love demoing it at food festivals, I’ve taught it in dozens of cooking classes, and I make it at home regularly. Friends and family clamor for the recipe, and are surprised at just how easy this dish is to whip up at home. You can find the black beans at Asian grocery stores. Make sure you buy the unseasoned version.

Black Bean Spare Ribs with Green Onion


  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 4  1/2 pounds), cut into 2-rib sections
  • 8 small dried red chiles
  • 8 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 bunches scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths, plus thinly sliced scallions for garnish
  • Cilantro, for garnish


In a medium bowl, whisk the sake with the black beans, soy sauce, hoisin, oyster sauce and 1 cup of water. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large enameled, cast-iron casserole, heat the oil until shimmering. Add half of the ribs at a time and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter.

Add the chiles, garlic and cut scallions to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant. Add the sake mixture and bring to a simmer, then add the ribs. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour.

Uncover the casserole and simmer over moderate heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a platter. Pour the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off the fat. Sprinkle the ribs with the sliced scallions and cilantro and serve, passing the sauce at the table.

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