Cantonese Steamed Pork Ribs

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Chinese Cooking Basics

chinese steamed pork rib recipe

Cantonese steamed pork ribs is a staple dish found at every dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. Almost every diner would also serve this in the morning afternoon and evening.


Because it’s so simple, but so appetising that it’s the perfect dish with rice. 

There’s a few key aspects that are key to getting this dish right – and that is diced pork ribs, Birdseye chilli and Chinese perserved dried black beans.

It’s not very common to find pork ribs diced in most big chain supermarkets, but you can easily find them diced into 2cm cubes at Chinese butchers. I don’t recommend you trying to dice your spare ribs at home by yourself. (speking from experience, so head to your Asian butcher instead) 

Other uncommon ingredients would be the Chinese perserved dried black beans. They’re soy beans that have been perserved and dried, which makes them naturally turn black in colour. It has a very strong nutty, umami flavour that works well when steaming. You can find these easily at your Chinese grocer. 

Cantonese Steamed Pork Ribs

steamed pork ribs


Serves 2

400g of diced pork ribs 

1 – 2 Birdseye chili

2 tablespoons of preserved Chinese dried black beans

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of sugar

4 tablespoons of cornstarch 

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon of salt 


1. Grab your garlic and black beans on a chopping board and start chopping! You can mince it as finely as you want or as roughly as you want, but you do want it minced. Set it aside.

2. Then grab your chilli and finely slice it without deseeding. (unless you’re worried about it being too spicey, in which case you get rid of the seeds before slicing) Place your chilli slices with your garlic and black bean mix. 

3. Wash your pork ribs by rinsing them under running water and rubbing 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to get rid of any dust, dirt or residual blood. Place your pork ribs on a flat dish and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

4. Dump ALL of your other ingredients into the dish with your pork ribs and start rubbing everything in until your ribs are evenly coated. Set aside for 20min.

chinese pork recipes

5. Get your steamer ready, and place your pork ribs in once the water is boiling. Remember to let your ribs rest and place your ribs in the steamer at room temperature, if you placed the pork in the fridge during the 20min of marination then. 

6. The pork ribs will be cooked within 20 minutes, but if you want them to be less tough then try to steam them for a minimum of 30min. 

Janice Fung

Janice Fung

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