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.


  • 2 ½ lbs pork spare ribs, cut into 3" pieces
  • 2 tbsps peanut oil
  • 3 ½ tbsps fermented black beans
  • 2 tbsps hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 7 ½ cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 4 tbsps sugar
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup rice wine or sake
  • 4 dried chili peppers
  • ¼ cup scallions, minced


1. Combine the beans, garlic, soy, sugar, hoisin, oyster sauce, water and sake. Place a large cast iron pot or heavy enameled casserole on high heat.
2. Add oil and swirl. Add the scallions and chilies. Swirl and add the ribs. Toss for 4 to 5 minutes. DO NOT SCORCH.
3. Give the seasoning a stir and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir. Lower to a simmer. Cover. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat. Pour off sauce and degrease. Transfer ribs and ‘cleaned sauce’ to a second pot and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Sauce should reduce to a rich consistency. Serve.


Recipe elides adding sake - should probably go in with the hoisin, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and water.
Probably could use some chopped scallions sprinkled on top.



MacGourmet downloadBlack Bean Spare Ribs with Green Onion. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Andrew Zimmern






Asian : East Asian