Eggplant seems to be a divisive vegetable. People are either passionate eggplant lovers or haters. I definitely fall in the lover category and this easy Steamed Eggplant is one of my favorites. Steaming eggplant renders the flesh really lush and tender, and then I pair read more
Black Bean Spare Ribs are a dim sum must! But there’s no need to wait until the next time you are at a Chinese restaurant to enjoy, they are surprisingly easy to make at home. The spare ribs get marinated overnight, and then just tossed in a steamer, making them ideal for entertaining. You can serve them dim sum style, with a bunch of other little bites, or serve them with rice and a veggie for a satisfying supper. Black Bean Spare Ribs are super kid friendly and I predict these will become part of your regular rotation.
First Soak the Spare Ribs
It is customary when making Black Bean Spare Ribs to first soak them in water for an hour or two. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it does drain them of excess blood, which gives them a nice white appearance and keeps the sauce clear. When enjoyed as dim sum, these ribs are usually cut into tiny pieces or they will use rib tips. Sometimes I’m lucky and I will find ribs cut into thirds at the grocery store, but unless I’m at an Asian meat market, it’s rare to find the tiny off-cuts that you find in the traditional dish. But that’s fine, because while I do love the black bean ribs at Chinese restaurants, they’re not exactly what I would call meaty. You’d be hard pressed to eat a couple orders and feel like you’ve eaten anything filling. So I’ve taken inspiration from the flavors, but paired it with what is easiest to find at the grocery store. Spare ribs, technically St. Louis style ribs (because the sternum, cartilage, and rib tips are removed), are almost always available and easy to prepare. Unwrap them and cut them into individual ribs.
Black Bean Spare Ribs Marinade
Marinades are magic! They tenderize and season at the same time, but my favorite part is how it lets me do all the work the day before. The marinade for these spare ribs has several Chinese star players that build amazing flavor. Shaoxing wine, toasted sesame oil, oyster sauce, and white pepper lend piquant, savory depth.
Steam the Spare Ribs
Steaming is the traditional method of cooking for Black Bean Spare Ribs. It’s a great method because it’s easy, hands off, and makes for minimal cleanup. It also creates the perfect texture. Fair warning, it does take a fair amount of time for the ribs to cook through and become tender but still have a little bite to them. That’s the trade off for using full size ribs. But the cooking requires almost no attention, only requiring you to add some additional water to the pot. If you prefer ribs meltingly tender, just increase the steaming time.
The black beans that we use here are actually salted and fermented soybeans. They supercharge any dish with savory, salty, umami goodness. A little goes a long way.
I steam them for about an hour, until the ribs are cooked through and opaque, adding water as needed. That hour of hands off cooking leaves me free to whip up some additional small plates, dim sum style. Some good ones to try are:
Or you can make Black Bean Spare Ribs the main event. Serve with rice and a simple green salad with Sesame Dressing for an easy but unforgettable meal.
Try these and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below, and show off your dish by tagging @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 rack St. Louis style pork spare ribs (about a pound)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons de-seeded and chopped green long hot or bell pepper
- 2 Tablespoons de-seeded and chopped red long hot or bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans
- Cut the ribs into individual pieces and put them into a container.
- Rinse the ribs under running water, drain, and cover with fresh water. Put them in the fridge for an hour or 2, changing the water once. Drain the ribs completely and then put them back into the container.
- Add the sugar, salt, wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and white pepper to the ribs and mix until the ribs are well coated. Cover and let them marinate in the fridge overnight or a minimum of 1 hour.
- Add the cornstarch to the marinated ribs and mix well until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Place the ribs into deep plates that will fit your steamer. Once you have plated the ribs, sprinkle the peppers and the fermented black beans evenly over the top.
- Fill the bottom pot of your steaming set with the maximum amount of water allowed and set your steaming baskets with the ribs on top. Cover with a lid and bring the water to a boil on high.
- Steam for 60 minutes, or until the ribs are opaque and cooked through. Rotate the steamer inserts halfway through the cooking time, if you have more than one plate, and add more water to the steamer as needed.
- Test the ribs with a fork. These ribs are traditionally served tender but with some resistance. They are not fall from the bone tender. If you prefer the ribs softer, continue steaming until they are to your liking, making sure to add enough water to the bottom pot.
- Serve Black Bean Spare Ribs as part of a dim sum sum menu or as a meal with a couple veggies and rice!
*These ribs will have a slight chewiness cooked for the given time. If you prefer your ribs more tender, continue cooking the ribs for another 15-20 minutes, making sure to add water as needed to the steamer.
*If you choose to use ribs that are cut into smaller pieces, decrease the steaming time to 20-30 minutes.
Keywords: dim sum, spare ribs, pork, chinese, black bean sauce, gluten free
A big bowl of noodles is always a welcome sight. And Singapore Noodles are loaded with protein and veggies, plus it’s on the table fast. This next level stir fry dish hails from Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong, so no one is exactly sure why they are called Singapore Noodles. But everyone agrees that they are delicious, so let’s get into it!
Singapore Noodles are ubiquitous at restaurants but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a good bowl. Too often, the noodles are bland, dusty, and underwhelming. I know, I’m sad too when I get a bad batch. So today, I’m going to show you how they are meant to be: chock full of fresh ingredients, briny from the dried shrimp, and saturated with flavor. Are you with me?
Singapore Noodles have many different variations. There are vegetarian versions, some versions include scrambled eggs, and beef or ham instead of Chinese sausage. In fact, this is a great dish to make when you have some veggies you need to use up, so go ahead and whip up a batch with cabbage, snow peas, beansprouts, etc. But there’s two ingredients that are always used or it just isn’t Singapore noodles…curry powder and rice vermicelli. The rice noodles make this dish super quick, because they don’t even need to be cooked before going into the stir fry. They just get soaked in water while you prep everything else. And they have the delightfully springy texture that made this dish famous.
Singapore Noodles Stir Fry
This dish is a stir fry, so you need to have everything prepped and within reach of the stove.
Once you have everything prepped, including having the sauce ingredients measured out and close by, the cooking happens very quickly. Start with a hot pan, a large wok is great too, but I use a 12 inch skillet.
At home, I think a 12 inch skillet is a necessity, unless you usually cook for one. You need to have as much hot surface area as possible in order to actually get a stir fry. If you crowd everything in, you’re going to be steaming your ingredients and it just won’t be the same. I also encourage you to use high heat when stir frying. It’s better to get a little char (not all out burn) while constantly moving things around in your pan rather than letting them sit and cook on medium heat. You will notice much better flavor and texture. So get brave and crank up the heat. You can always turn it down 😉
Now your Singapore Noodles are ready to be plated, garnished, and devoured!
I know you’re going to love this fresh and fast take on Singapore Noodles. Please take a moment to let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 7 ounces dried rice vermicelli
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
- ½ red pepper
- ½ large yellow onion
- 1 ounce dried shrimp (¼ cup)
- 8 ounces ground chicken
- 2 links chinese sausage
- 8 pieces shrimp (I used 21/25 “large” size)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3 Tablespoons fried shallots
- Soak the rice vermicelli in cool water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Cut the red pepper into thin slices and set aside.
- Cut the onion into thin slices and set aside.
- Cut the Chinese sausage on an angle into thin slices and set aside.
- Heat a large 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the chicken and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Then break up the meat and continue to cook for another minute. Raise the heat to high and add the dried shrimp, onion, peppers, and garlic. Stir fry for 2 minutes, constantly moving things in the pan.
- Next add the chinese sausage and curry powder. Continue to stir fry for another minute.
- Add the oyster sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken stock and stir to combine.
- Add the shrimp.
- Add the noodles and cook for about 3 minutes until the noodles are cooked and springy and the liquid has evaporated. (You can toggle between medium high and high heat if you notice ingredients starting to burn).
- Add the scallions and use a pair of tongs to mix into the noodles.
- Pile the Singapore noodles onto a platter and serve topped with cilantro and fried shallots.
*Singapore noodles is not usually a spicy dish but you can feel free to substitute spicy curry powder or even add some crushed chili flakes with the curry powder to give it a kick.
*It is difficult to mix ingredients into long noodles evenly, so I don’t bother. Just make sure to stir the noodles and ingredients often as you cook, so everything is cooked evenly.
*When piling the noodles onto the serving platter, I like to layer it, scooping the noodles, then some of the meat and veg, then some more noodles, until you’ve stacked it all on the platter. This way you get a nice mix of ingredients from the top to the bottom of the platter.
Keywords: noodles, curry, shrimp, chinese sausage, chicken, singapore noodles