Spare Ribs With Black Beans and Green Onions


Ciaran Griffin

Every warung (roadside café) in Bali specializes in pig products, especially the famous babi guling (whole roasted pig). This dish is one the most popular. Here is a version that's easy to make, and your guests will adore you for cooking it.


Serves 4 to 6 as part of a larger meal or as a heavy first course

2 full racks of baby back ribs of pork, cut into 2-rib sections.

2 tbs. peanut oil

7 tbs. Chinese-style fermented, salted black beans

4 tbs. hoisin sauce

4 tbs. oyster sauce

8 whole smashed and peeled garlic cloves

4 tbs. soy sauce

6 tbs. sugar

1 cup rice wine, I like to use sake for this recipe because of the clean cooking taste

1 cup water

8 whole dried chiles, I like Tsin-Tsin or Thai-style chilies for this recipe

2 bunches scallions, chopped into 1-inch lengths


Combine the beans, garlic, soy, sugar, hoisin, oyster sauce, sake and water.

Place a large cast-iron pot or heavy enameled casserole dish on the stove and heat high.

Add oil and stir.

Add the scallions and chilies.

Stir and add the ribs.

Toss ribs in the pot, allowing them to brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the chilies.

Give the bean mixture seasoning a stir and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir. Lower to a simmer, then cover.

Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Remove from heat. Place ribs on a large plate, skim sauce and simmer briefly to thicken the sauce if needed. Sauce should be reduced to a rich consistency, almost like maple syrup.

Serve. Garnish with some julienne scallions.

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