braised ribs in bean paste

braised ribs in bean paste

One of the great things about cooking with pork ribs is that you can get the butcher to cut them in half lengthwise, down the bone, and then you have two sets of ribs to play with.  It’s pretty awesome.  It’s also one of the great reasons why I love having access to a butcher.  If I need ground pork, they’ll make it for me, if I have some questions about cuts and preparation, they have answers.  It’s great.  If you don’t have a butcher around you that just sells meat, you can totally bother the butcher at the supermarket.  Many of times I asked the butchers at the supermarkets in DC to grind me up some pork.  I could have used ground beef, chicken, or turkey – but taking away ground pork from an Asian is like taking the bottle away from a baby.  Yes, it’s that serious.

I figured, after buying the ribs, that I would save the second half for an experimental marinade or rub.  Problem is, after I started this binge of postings on food from home, I realized how much I missed this braised pork rib recipe that my Mom would make for us.  She wouldn’t make it often for us because we didn’t always have the bean past at home, and I would request the yummy black bean ribs.  But this was just as good.  On top of that, the sauce is really good in this rib dish.  Unlike the bean sauce, which is mostly oil, this one has a nice tangy, sweet, and savory sauce that coats the ribs and taste great with rice.

Fermented bean paste can be purchased at Chinese/Asian supermarkets.  It usually comes in jar form and is a thick brown paste that is made out of fermenting soybean with a range of ingredients.  Some can have rice, sugar, or wheat.  The production, how it is made, and region determine the colors and taste of the paste.  When making this dish, get the Chinese one that is a nice milk chocolate brown color or the kind with chili mixed in.  It’s really delicious.  I can’t really think of a substitution for these.  If you can’t get this in your local area, call me and I will send you some.  Or, you can just order it online at an Asian grocer.  The black vinegar, or sometimes-called Chinese Worcestershire sauce, is nothing like western Worchester sauce.  In Chinese, the direct translation is Black Vinegar  but I have seen it marketed both ways.  It’s made with black glutinous rice and is popular in Southern China.  I have a bottle produced in Taiwan that says Worchester sauce, and has a few extra spices fermented in it.  Growing up I would sometimes wake up in the morning and my Mom would cook me an egg over easy and the only thing I would put on it was a few drops of this vinegar.  It was so good.  Heavenly.  I guess you could substitute the vinegar with rice vinegar, but why bother?


1 ½ lb pork ribs, slice

2 tbs Chinese bean paste (Doubanjiang)

1 tbs soy sauce

1½ tbs black vinegar

½ tbs sugar

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp canola oil


mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ribs in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes

heat oil on high with garlic and bean paste in oil until fragrant

add ribs with marinade and stir

braise ribs on low heat for 40 minutes

-serves 4 –


3 Responses to “braised ribs in bean paste”

  1. 1 Dennis & Erica & Kevin & Kayden
    January 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hey Scott,

    How are you doing? This is pretty cool…Erica wants to learn everything here.


  2. 3 grace
    July 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Scott! Can you please be more specific about how much 1 ½ pork ribs is? I want to make this dish but am scared to make it too salty!

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