Chinese Bistro Ribs Recipe

  • 4 teaspoons Chinese fermented black beans
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 2 Lapsang souchong tea bags
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 racks of baby back ribs (about 2 lb total), cut into ribs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup medium-dry Sherry
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  1. Rinse beans and soak in warm water to cover, changing water once halfway through soaking, 30 minutes total. Drain beans and finely chop, then stir together with garlic, ginger, and onion in a small bowl.
  2. Pour boiling water over tea bags and brew 5 minutes (discard bags).
  3. Pat ribs dry and heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown ribs in 2 batches, turning over, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl as browned.
  4. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Add black bean mixture and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in tea, soy sauce, Sherry, vinegar, and syrup, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add ribs to sauce and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove lid and boil, stirring, until almost all of sauce is evaporated and ribs are well glazed, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Available at Asian markets.