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Gordon Lum's Island Spare Ribs w/Black Bean Sauce

Gordon Lum comes from the family that created Lum's char siu sauce which is still sold worldwide in stores.  We met Gordon through Popo June Tong who was also a guest on our Cooking Hawaiian Style TV show.  Gordon's spare ribs with black bean sauce is made the old, traditional way with lots of love.

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Prep Time: 15 | Cook Time: 60 | Ready In: 75
Ingredients: Print   Add to cart
US Metric

3.25 lbs. island spare ribs cut into bite sized pieces

Black Bean Sauce:

4 Tbsp salted black beans

3 cloves garlic

 4 tsp oyster sauce

 4 tsp liquor (whiskey, sake, sherry, etc.)

 4 tsp vegetable oil

 2 tsp Hawaiian salt

 1 tsp sugar

 4 Tbsp corn starch

 1 stalk green onions

Cooking Process:

Rinse the spareribs to remove bone chips etc. then drain.  Rinse the salted black beans, hand squeeze to remove water and rough chop. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Thinly slice the green onions.  Combine the Black Bean Sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Add the island spareribs to the bowl and mix. If possible, line or layer  the spareribs against the sides of the bowl.  Add water to the steamer and heat. When the water boils, place the bowl of spareribs into the steamer and steam for 1 hour.  Remove the bowl from the steamer. Some of the steam will have collected in the bowl as a liquid. Stir and a gravy will develop. Serve with rice.


Tip:  “Island” spareribs are what you will normally find in Chinatown.  Ask the butcher to cut the spareribs with a bandsaw rather than chopping it with a cleaver; there will be less shattered bones to deal with. “Mainland” spareribs are what you would find at supermarkets, Costco or Sam’s Club and can also be used.


Watch new episodes of Cooking Hawaiian Style Monday night at 7:30pm HST on OC16 channels 12 & 1012. Get all of these recipes on