Instant Pot Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce braise in a deep rich flavorful garlic black bean sauce. An Authentic dim sum dump and cook recipe.
Dim sum restaurants are so much fun. The cart pushers come around the tables and everyone points to what they want.
Well, I point, but I have some friends who speak Chinese and I can tell you, going with them to dim sum is so much fun!
One of the more popular items is steamed spareribs with black bean sauce. On the stove it takes about 20 minutes to steam the ribs. With my Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker recipe, the time will be about the same (pressure up, pressure release) but, it is all hands off. No standing over the stove making sure water doesn’t boil over, or waiting to see if more water is needed.
Plus, there are some steps that can be skipped because of cooking under pressure as opposed to stove top!
Plus, using a pressure cooker and braising the Chinese spareribs with black bean sauce, will infuse the flavors much better than steaming on the stove.
Ingredients for Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce
- As you can see from the photo above, you don’t need a zillion ingredients to make the black bean garlic sauce.
- The sauce can be made with jarred black bean garlic sauce, but it is so easy to use dried fermented black beans and make your own sauce by scratch. I’ll tell you
the shortcutin the notes section how to use the jarred sauce instead of homemade, if you don’t want to buy the Douchi.
You’ll see that you won’t save any time and it is just as easy to make the black bean garlic sauce yourself.
In fact, with my easy recipes you can make a dim sum party at home yourself. One of my favorites are my Air Fryer Chinese Salt and Pepper Pork Chops. The chef at my local Chinese restaurant showed me how to make them and wow, they are fantastic.
Do the Fermented Black Beans Need to Be Soaked?
- No, not when pressure cooking. If you are cooking the beans on the stove top then yes, but not when you are cooking them under pressure.
- Rinsing the fermented black beans in hot water to remove any impurities will add enough liquid to start plumping the beans.
- Then as the beans sit in the cooking pot with the liquids, the spareribs will be prepared. This truly is enough time to “soak” the beans for cooking under pressure. The process will pop open the douchi and smash the beans, garlic and ginger into bits.
Pro Tip: When cooking Chinese Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce under pressure, there is no need to first soak the douchi.
What are Fermented Black Beans?
- Of Chinese origin, they are called douchi or tochi. They are one of the most popular items to use as flavoring in China.
- Douchi or fermented black beans, as we call them in the US are made from black SOYbeans which are fermented and salted. Also referred to as salty black beans.
- Chinese fermented black beans are meant to be used as a seasoning, so not much is needed in recipes. They are the foundation to making black bean garlic sauce.
Pro Tidbit: Did you know that fermented black soybeans are the oldest known food made from soybeans.
Instant Pot Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce is really a dump and push start recipe. There is not much to do but add the ingredients.
A wonderful start to a dim sum meal is a nice bowl of Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup. It’s another recipe that is super easy to make at home.
Spareribs are slippery little buggers. Watch the video and you will see…. Ed will give you pointers on preparing the ribs.
Choosing the Right Spareribs
- Any Asian market should have packaged pork spare ribs, which you will cut into bite sized pieces.
- American markets may mark the packages as “pork flanken” or “pork tips.”
Pro Tip: If you are Kosher or do not eat pork, use beef flanken instead and follow the recipe exactly. Jewish people eat stewed beef flanken. It is also the cut of meat used in Instant Pot Kalbi Korean Short Ribs!
How to Prepare Spareribs into Riblets
- A strip of the ribs will be about a foot long or longer.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the meat in the center between the bones.
Pro Tip: Rinse the spareribs under room temperature to slightly warm water to remove any bone shards before cutting them into riblets.
What About Marinating the Spareribs with the Sauce?
- Pressure cooking is a whole different way of cooking than stove top cooking. For many types of recipes, there is no need to marinate the sauce with the meat.
- The flavors and sauce will easily break down and penetrate the meat. However, you want to put the sauce with the meat to marinate for later cooking, that is totally fine.
Pro Tip: There is no need to marinate the black beans with the sauce when cooking under pressure.
Putting Ed to work with the ribs! He’s great at massaging my neck, so I figured he was the perfect person to massage the seasonings into the riblets.
What is the Purpose of Potato Starch?
- Potato starch is used as a thickener, as well as a coating.
- By coating the riblets with the potato starch, white pepper and salt, a protective barrier forms around the ribs and will keep them nice and moist.
- It also acts as a self starting slurry. As the Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce cooks, the potato starch will slowly loosen and create its own slurry. This avoids having to add a slurry in after cooking.
- This is also why the potato starch is on the ribs and not mixed into the sauce. We need to make sure the pot can come to pressure.
Pro Tip: Potato starch is used a lot in Asian cooking. It is lighter than flour and never leaves a raw taste as flour can sometimes leave.
How to Make Low Carb Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce
Substitute the potato starch 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.
Use a low carb sugar like Lakanto granulated sugar instead of real sugar.
How to Meal Prep Chinese Spareribs
- This is a wonderful recipe to use for freezer meal prepping.
- All you have to do is add all the ingredients for cooking together in a freezer safe bag. When you are ready to cook, just defrost and pop into the Instant Pot.
- Remember to add the green parts of the scallions and the oil after cooking.
Can this Recipe be Doubled?
- Sure thing. Just double everything.
- The cook time stays the same!
Can Rice Be Cooked at the Same Time as Chinese Spareribs?
Yes. This is very easy to do and the timing on this recipe is perfect.
Check out my Pressure Cooker Perfectly Cooked Pot In Pot Rice recipe and use the measurements for the rice and water in the rice pan.
You will just need to have a trivet and a rice pan. I use my Ekovana Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Stackable Pans Set for pot in pot cooking all the time and I highly recommend buying this set.
In case you are wondering why I’m adding the sesame oil after cooking the Chinese spareribs, it is because cooking the sesame oil under high pressure can sometimes cause a bitter taste. Adding it in after cooking and letting it simmer in the sauce will add a nice flavor without the chance of the oil burning.
The green part of the scallions are very tender and in order to keep them bright and in tact, you will want to add them to the ribs right before serving.
Major yum here. My Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Garlic Sauce cook up so incredible in the Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker and taste better than any Chinese restaurant. You will think a Chinese grandmother made these ribs in her kitchen. You will never steam them again!
Watch the video below as I walk you through every step and detail of this recipe. I’ve given you a ton of information above, but sometimes a live visual of the process helps so you can follow along. I have my own cooking show on my YouTube Channel, so be sure to check it out and subscribe!
Watch my video and then scroll to the bottom for the printable recipe card.
Tips and Tricks for Instant Pot Chinese Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce.
- Prepare the sauce first so that the douchi has a little time to soften.
- Because the butcher uses a saw to cut the ribs, bone shard will remain on the ribs. Therefore, rinse the ribs very well to make sure there is no bone shard.
- Don’t mix the ribs into the sauce fully. This is so that enough liquid stays in the bottom of the pot so it can begin to build pressure. As the ribs are cooking, they will release water and allow the pot to come to pressure without having to add additional water or liquid. This ensures a very flavorful riblet.
Can I Freeze Chinese Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce?
- Yes, they freeze well and reheat very easily.
- Use the pot in pot method to reheat the leftover riblets.
Pro Tip: A FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System is great for meal prep.
I can’t wait for you to make this recipe. The sauce is so wonderful and can be used with chicken and slices of beef too!
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot, Mealthy MultiPot or Pressure Cooker
- J.A. Henckels Classic 8 inch Chef’s Knife
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- Stainless Steel Tall/Short Trivet & Egg Cooker Set
- Ekovana Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Stackable Pans Set – FOR POT IN POT COOKING!
More Chinese Dum Sum Recipes to Make:
- Dim Sum Air Fryer Chinese Shrimp Toast
- Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
- Air Fryer Chinese Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chinese Salt and Pepper Pork Chops
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 2 pounds Pork Sparerib Tips "Riblets"
- 1 Tablespoon Potato Starch
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons Fermented Black Beans (dry) (or jarred black bean garlic sauce)
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Root grated
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek Ground Chili Paste
- 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Sesame Oil
- 2 whole Scallions chopped, divide white and green parts
- Rinse the fermented black beans in hot water to remove any impurities.
- Chop scallions and separate the white part from the green part.
- Add fermented black beans, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, Sambal Oelek, ginger, garlic, white part of scallions and sugar to cooking pot and mix together.
- Allow the fermented black beans to soak in the liquid mixture in the pot while preparing the pork spareribs.
- Rinse the ribs well using room temperature water to remove any bone shards. Run your fingers over the ribs to make sure there are no loose bone fragments.
- Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and place on cutting board. If using beef flanken, prepare the ribs the same way.
- Use a good solid knife or cleaver to cut (your butcher can cut the meat if you ask) the strips of pork spareribs into individual riblets. Cut the meat evenly between the bones.
- Place riblets into a large bowl or baggie.
- Sprinkle on potato starch, salt and white pepper and massage into riblets so they are fully coated.
- Add seasoned riblets to sauce in cooking pot.
- Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure (most machines default to high pressure) for 5 minutes.
- When beep sounds, wait 10 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
- Remove lid and then hit cancel.
- Hit Saute and add sesame oil. Let simmer for 1 minute just to incorporate the sesame oil.
- Turn off pot and mix in the green parts of the scallions. If eating later, turn pot to warm and add green parts of scallions right before serving.
- When cooking Chinese Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce under pressure, there is no need to first soak the douchi.
- There is no need to marinate the black beans with the sauce when cooking under pressure.
- By coating the riblets prior to cooking with the potato starch mixture, this eliminates the need to add a slurry after pressure has been released. The starch will adhere to the ribs during cooking, so that there is no worry about a burn notice and the pot coming to pressure. After removing the lid and stirring the ribs through the sauce, the starch will release and mix through the sauce and naturally thicken.
- The fermented beans can be soaked in the liquid earlier in the day, so that all ingredient can be tossed in at once to make this a dump and push start recipe.