How to Make Steamed Pork Ribs

How to Make Steamed Pork Ribs

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Makes: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Adapted From: Steamy Kitchen

Steamed pork ribs are made by steaming pork rib tips with whole black beans and oil to create a savory treat. The menu never specifies that the ribs or beer or pork, but diners know that they are never made with beef ribs because they are too big.

Before making this dish, visit a meat counter at your local Chinatown to buy the pork ribs. Your butcher will be able to select that are perfect for this dish, as well as cut them across the bones to create the right bite-sized morsels.

Once you have your ingredients, this dish becomes simple to make. It’s a great dish to make for friends because you can serve it with a flourish, without giving away how you were able to get ribs just the way they have them in the restaurant.

Can you share any expert tips from your experience making steamed pork ribs? Want to ask a question before you try making it yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Steamed Pork Ribs Recipe

Makes: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Adapted From: Steamy Kitchen


1 1/2 lbs pork spare rib tips
2 tablespoons black bean sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar


1. Cut the spare ribs crosswise into 1-2″ sections.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer spareribs and sauce into a shallow, heatproof pan that will fit inside a wok. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Set a steaming rack inside of a wok and fill with water almost up to height of rack. Turn heat to high and when water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-high.

4. Set the pan with the spareribs on top of a steaming rack in wok. Steam on medium-high heat for 18-20 minutes until ribs are no longer pink. Replenish wok with additional water, if needed.

Learn more about Steamed Pork Ribs from these Experts

Watch Dan Seto (and his mom) make Steamed Pork Ribs (VIDEO)
The good folks at Serious Eats tackle Steamed Pork Ribs
Chowhounders debate how to get that elusive dim sum-style taste for their ribs

HT: Photo by Esther Food Adventure.

6 Responses

  1. paul

    You left out the 1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes and minced red bell pepper. I find that using tapioca flour to work better than corn starch,too.If you use individual pyrex or ceramic ramkins in a steamer the results are better than one big bowl.

    • Dim Sum Central

      Wonderful suggestions, Paul. Thank you! I’m planning to make these ribs in the next few weeks, so I’ll look forward to trying them with both the pepper flakes and the bell pepper added. ~Wes

  2. Wendy

    first I wash small cut ribs
    then simmer for 30minutes with bay leaves and salt and vinegar
    remove bay and transfer to a bowl with the mashed fermented blacked to taste +
    sesame oil
    sweet soy
    fish sauce
    chilli slices
    grated ginger

    steam for 1 hour gently

    reduce liquid in a pan pour over ribs

    • Dim Sum Central

      Thanks for sharing your technique, Wendy! Can you share measurements, or this a recipe you’ve done enough that you work from memory? 🙂 ~Wes

    • Dim Sum Central

      It’s an interesting idea — I’ve never tried. Could you let us know how it goes? ~Wes

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