Asian food is one of my favorite things to eat in the world.  Replicating the recipes however can be difficult.  There are ingredients and techniques in Asian food preparation that do not find a home commonly in my kitchen.  Don’t get me wrong, I love stopping by Asian markets and buying interesting ingredients and finding recipes to match them (C-Mart Supermarket in Boston’s Chinatown is my favorite).  But replicating authentic Chinese cuisine can be a challenge. 

This recipe is an exception to the rule.  There’s only one exotic ingredient (the black bean paste), but you can find it in most supermarkets and certainly in any Asian market. 

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 03

You could use whole spare ribs without turning them into riblets, but they’re much easier to stir-fry in riblet form, and a little more fun as well. 

If you’d like a copy of the recipe without the pictures, send me an email at  If you’d like updates of future postings, feel free to subscribe or follow me on Twitter @Dan65802.


2 -3 pounds spareribs, cut in half horizontally.

1 Tbs. fermented black bean paste

1 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup water

2 – 3 Tbs. oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 slices ginger

1 Tbs. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs. water (optional)

1 green onion, diced


Cut apart the spareribs into individual riblets.

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 01

Mix together the black bean paste, soy sauce, sugar and water and set aside. 

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 03

Heat the wok on high heat and add oil. When oil is ready, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic. (As you can see below, I let mine go a little beyond the just aromatic stage, but it was still tasty.) 

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 05

Add the spareribs, stir-frying until they are lightly browned.  

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 06

Add the sauce.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 06b

While the ingredients are cooking, mix together the cornstarch and water if you are going to use it (I like a thicker sauce, so I use the cornstarch mixture. 

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 07

Once the ingredients are finished simmering give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick re-stir and add, stirring to thicken. 

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 08

You can stir in the green onion at this point or use it as a garnish.  

Riblets with Black Bean Sauce 09

You can use a knife and fork, but I don’t mind getting my fingers a little messy.  That’s why God gave us napkins.   If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at the address above or drop a line in the comments section. 

Enjoy this or any meal with good friends and family and your life will be richer.  The sharing of good food brings us closer together.  Good friends and family are some of God’s most precious gifts to us.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Pork Cutlets with Maple, Mustard and Sage Sauce