Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

5 mins prep to make this popular dim sum pressure cooker spare ribs with black bean sauce. Tender, moist, and juicy pork spare ribs is perfect over rice.

5 mins prep to make this popular dim sum – pressure cooker spare ribs with black bean sauce. Tender, juicy, and savory pork spare ribs is perfect over rice. It’s Dim Sum time! 😀

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Sunday was the day I looked forward to the most as a kid because it was the only day I didn’t have school (yes, I had school on Saturdays too in Hong Kong) AND it was Dim Sum day!! You see, the only daily pregnancy cravings my mom had when she had me was Dim Sum. I guess my love for dim sum started even before I was born. hahaha~

Besides the well known har gaw shrimp dumplings or siu mai pork dumplings, steamed spare ribs with black bean sauce is one of the most popular dim sums. The worst thing about ordering it is that it only comes in a small plate and everybody loves it! So you’d probably only get to eat 1 piece each time, maybe 2 if you’re quick.

Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

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So, why not make it at home? It’s really easy to make, especially with a pressure cooker. With just 5 mins prep, this dish can be ready in 35 mins. 😀

When people steam spare ribs at home, it’s common for the spare ribs to end up dry and tough. So we were cautious and critical in our timing and ingredients as we experimented this dish with our pressure cooker. We’ve tried it many times, and we’re quite satisfied with how tender, moist, and juicy the spare ribs turned out.

Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Special Ingredients For Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs Recipe:

  • Pork spare ribs – if you purchase them in Asian butcher shops, they usually come in cut up pieces. If not, ask your butcher to chop them up in pieces for you.
  • Black Bean Sauce – this is a convenient substitute if you can’t get your hands on the Chinese fermented black beans Douchi 豆豉 or if you don’t want to make your own black bean sauce from scratch.
  • Sesame oil
  • Fish sauce

Tool for Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce Recipe:

5 mins prep to make this popular dim sum pressure cooker spare ribs with black bean sauce. Tender, moist, and juicy pork spare ribs is perfect over rice.

Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce Recipe Tips

Never do quick release after cooking with high pressure for this pressure cooker spare ribs. This one time, we wanted to test the difference between quick release and natural release for this dish (more like because we were starving LOL~), and we found the difference was HUGE. The spare ribs from quick release were chewy and dry while those from natural release were very tender and moist. Never QR for this ever again.

Now it’s YOUR turn to take out your pressure cooker and cook some Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

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4.9 from 15 reviews
Pressure Cooker Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
5 mins prep to make this popular dim sum pressure cooker spare ribs with black bean sauce. Tender, moist, and juicy pork spare ribs is perfect over rice.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals
Cuisine: Chinese
Serving: 2 - 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound pork spare ribs, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon water
  • Green onions as garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
Black Bean Marinade
Instructions
  1. Marinate the pork spare ribs with Black Bean Marinade in an oven-safe bowl. Then, sit it in the fridge for 25 minutes.
  2. First, mix 1 tablespoon of oil into the marinated spare ribs. Then, add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and mix well. Finally, add 1 – 2 teaspoon of water into the spare ribs and mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker. Place steam rack in the pressure cooker. Then, put the bowl of spare ribs on the rack.
  4. Close lid. Pressure cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an Electric Pressure Cooker, then natural release.
  5. Taste and add one teaspoon of fish sauce and green onions as garish if you like.
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
The prep time in the recipe does not include inactive time.
5 mins prep to make this popular dim sum pressure cooker spare ribs with black bean sauce. Tender, moist, and juicy pork spare ribs is perfect over rice.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Hi,

    I doubled the portion and cooking time and it became tough and chewy. How long should I pressure cook it for 2 pounds of spareribs?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Celyn,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Make sure the spareribs have some fat in it and the cooking time should be roughly 20 minutes.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  2. I’ve made this twice and my kids love it. Used 1.5 lb baby back ribs, pressure cooked for 20 min with natural release. The ribs came out soft and very tasty.

  3. Love your recipes! Made your pot roast many times and will be trying your Spaghetti sauce this weekend. Want to try this recipe. Can I make this with boneless pork? If so, what cut of pork do you recommend? Thank you.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support!

      I recommend using a piece of well-marbled pork butt meat. You can slice it to 0.5″ thick pieces and the cooking time can stay the same.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  4. I made these the other night for my husband and he kept telling me how good they were. I followed your recipe, except I used 1 Tbsp of rinsed chopped fermented black beans, not realizing I should make a sauce from the beans. Thank you for the great recipe!

  5. I tried this & it came out perfect! Added potatoes, bell peppers & tofu at the end to soak up all that wonderful sauce. Wondering if you know what the cook time & process would be for frozen spare ribs. I’d like to marinate/freeze a separate batch for weeknight meals. Thanks!!

  6. I cooked this tonight. It was excellent. I used 1½ lbs of spare rib tips since I had them packaged that way in the freezer. I used black bean sauce with chili since we like spicy food and I had it in the fridge already. Everything else I did the same until the end. I used the Steak setting in IP but I don’t think it really makes a difference since it is high pressure streaming. After 15 minutes and a full material release, i opened the lid and added 1 medium green pepper got to similar size chunks as the ribs. I pressured steamed for an additional 1 minute with a 15 minute natural release. The peppers were perfect – cooked, but still crunchy.

  7. Hi there!!

    Ive cooked many of your recipes and every single one is a hit! With this recipe, I have a lot of leftover cooked marinade/sauce. Any ideas what to do with it? I was thinking a sauce for boiled veggies or a noodle dish.

    Thank you for your awesome recipe writing skills and photos. You’ve made pressure cooking so easy!

    Janny

    P.S. my phone isn’t allowing me to give a 5 star rating. ? but every one of your recipes is 5+ stars!!!

  8. Hi!

    I cooked this yesterday and it was great. My only question is, when you cook it is it soft and tender? Coz mine was still pretty tough and it was hard to eat. Other than that, the sauce and the flavor was amazing.

    I’m wondering if I should have pressure cooked longer or gotten a different cut? I got pork spare ribs from the asian store.

    1. Hi Emil,

      thank you for your question & kind words 🙂

      It should be soft and tender.

      Was the spare ribs really lean? I would recommend choosing meat with some fat to it for the pressure cooker.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  9. AMAZING. I am using your recipes EVERY DAY!!
    This was a huge success and as it is all in one pot it is just so convenient. Huge fan and telling everyone about your website. Many thanks.

  10. Hi

    Made your pot roast and it was amazing and so now I’m here trying this one out!

    Making ALOT of ribs for a big group of people in my 8 qt, and don’t have a bowl that will hold the ribs AND fit in the IP.

    Would it be ok to just cook the ribs in the sauce straight in the pot without the steam rack and bowl?

    Thanks
    Amber

    1. Hi Amber,

      thank you so much for your kind words and using our recipes. We truly appreciate your kindness 🙂

      This Spare ribs and Rice recipe will be perfect for you!

      You can double or triple it. Just make sure to layer all the spare ribs at the bottom and the rice on top. I would recommend reducing the cooking time by a minute or two if you are tripling the recipe.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  11. Hi Jacky and Amy,
    I just made it for the 2nd and it came out delicious. My wife like it and that is all it counts.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  12. I have the 6 qt LUX. What do I do when recipes call for cooking using the Manual High pressure setting? I am not able to adjust the pressure setting on manual. Do I just choose one of the pre-factory setting and adjust to High Pressure? I really love your recipes.

    1. Hi Tommy,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      The LUX will operate in High pressure mode so you can just use the manual/pressure cook button.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi MPW,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It will depend on the thickness of the meat. I will say roughly 25 – 28 minutes.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  13. Hi… me again. 🙂 I have cooked this recipe and my husband says the meat was tender and it tasted good. However i will need to adjust the saltiness to suit us. thanks very much. And one more thing… not much cleaning needed. yahoo! Your comment “t will still be one cup of water & low pressure” – what does that mean? i press pressure cooking function and it is automatically on high pressure. my pressure cooker does not have an option for high and low pressure. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Tan Kiat Beng,

      Good to hear from you again.

      It will still be one cup of water & low pressure, but the cooking time will have to be increased to roughly 25 minutes.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  14. This dish was totally amazing! Every bit of umami oomph was in it. I used black bean garlic sauce, but realised i had so whole salted black beans too, so i smashed a few and added them into the marinade. I doubled the portion because I was doing it for a group of 30 people. Absolutely delicious, really. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. What type of ribs do you think is best suited for this recipe? Ive tried the recipe a couple of times and it came out tough..perhaps it’s the meat type. Thanks

  16. Do you think I can make this with baby back ribs cut into whole individual ribs instead of small cut pieces of ribs? I bought some racks for making your bbq ribs, but don’t feel like chopping into small pieces. Thanks!!

  17. Hi,

    The spare ribs were still a bit tough but the taste was good. When you say pressure cook in High, in IP DUO plus, do I just leave it at Normal (By Default) or set it to More for every High Pressure cook?

    Thanks!

  18. Hi Amy,

    If I wanted to cook 2lbs of pork ribs-should I double cooking time to 30 minutes? Or is 30 minutes too much? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lindsay,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I would increase the cooking time to 22 – 25 minutes, and then natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  19. I’m trying to get more familiar with using the instant pot because I’ve been using a simple cooker that has two settings, ‘cook’ and ‘warm.’ Whenever I would make pork spare ribs using my simple cooker, I would put the pork spare ribs in a small steel pan and place it on a trivet resting above the rice. Would I be able to follow this recipe and cook my rice at the same time? Can you offer any suggestions on how I could cook this with rice?

    1. Hi Dave,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      This will also work in the Instant Pot. For the rice, you will want to follow this recipe

      The cooking time will be the cooking time from this spare ribs recipe.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  20. Hi, the flavor was good but the cut up spare ribs were chewy even though I did natural release. Cooked in the 2-tiered metal pans. Cooked them for another 20 minutes, still not as soft and tender as at dim sum restaurant. Have never had success steaming spareribs on stove top. Was hoping would turn out good in IP. BTW. When I make a whole rack of ribs in the IP, they turn out very tender. I wonder if the pork ribs from my Asian meat market is not as good?

    1. Hi Lorrie,

      So happy to hear from you here 🙂

      The whole rack of ribs is another cut called Baby back rib and that cut is more tender.

      Spare ribs will become very tough & dry when overcooked. In restaurant, they use baking soda and a few other ingredients to soften the meat before steaming.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  21. I have just made this and my sons think that it’s delicious! Nearly as good as Por Por’s spare ribs.
    Thank you they were tender and moreish!

  22. Hi! I love your recipes :). I am planning to use 2 lbs of ribs, how should I adjust the cooking time? Is it safe to use a Pyrex glass bowl in the instant pot? Thanks!

    1. Hi InstantPotLover,

      It’s great to hear from you again. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Pyrex glass bowl is safe in the Instant Pot as long as it doesn’t have any small crack.

      Since Pyrex glass bowl takes longer to transfer heat, I would recommend increasing the cooking time to 28 minutes + Natural Release.

      Take care & have a great weekend ahead!
      Jacky

  23. Thank you for a delicious recipe! My first time using IP and I consider it a success! The ribs are tasty, super moist and tender…more tender than the traditional method of steaming. Do you agree? Why do you think that is?

    Somehow I am having trouble clicking on 5 stars below.

    1. Hi Loretta,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      I agree as the higher temperature will break down the meat connective tissue better.

      Thank you for giving us a 5 stars for this recipe. I have fixed the star rating 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  24. This dish was amazing! But as an instant pot newbie, I had a few questions. Am I cooking this under “steam?” And about the natural release… after it was done cooking, it went straight to warming and I never heard any steam being released. What could I be doing wrong? When I close the vent, is it an easy push of the nob or is it harder than that? I can’t tell because it seems loose. Any help would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Haidee,

      thank you for your questions 🙂

      Am I cooking this under “steam?”
      The manual button will work for all our recipes that indicate pressure cooking 🙂

      And about the natural release… after it was done cooking, it went straight to warming and I never heard any steam being released. What could I be doing wrong?
      You did everything right. You won’t be able to hear the pressure release in natural release 🙂

      When I close the vent, is it an easy push of the nob or is it harder than that? I can’t tell because it seems loose.
      It is an easy push and the venting knob is supposed to be loose 🙂

      Do let us know if you come across any questions!

      Take care & have an awesome week!
      Jacky

  25. Whenever I see natural pressure release, I wonder how long that takes. How long will it take for this recipe? However, i have made this record a few times with riblets and 2 pounds. I do it for 30-35 minutes and try to npr. Excellent recipe! My fiance loves it!

    1. Hi Ellie,

      thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      For this recipe, it will take about 10 – 13 minutes.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  26. This is a great recipe. Tender, juicy, and delicious! More tender than I’ve had at dim sum. I omitted the Shaoxing wine and used black pepper instead of white. I had two pounds of spare ribs so I doubled the marinade. I did 23 min with natural pressure release, and some of the pieces in the middle and bottom of the bowl were slightly red. I put them back in for 4 min and let the pressure release naturally again. Perfect!

    In general, when we need to add time after a dish is not quite done, should we let the pressure release naturally or is it ok to quick release? I let the pressure release naturally this time but sometimes we are in a rush and would like to quick release, especially if there is already unplanned time added. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hi Alice,

      thank you for your kind words 🙂

      There is an on-going debate on if we should natural release or quick release for meat. We are still collecting more solid data before we can make a recommendation on this!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  27. I followed the recipe exactly and my spareribs came out chewy and difficult to pull off the bone. Should I let it sit longer before natural release or what would you suggest?

    1. Hi Jen,

      thank you for your feedback and question 🙂

      If the spareribs were in a pyrex glass bowl, it will take a few extra minutes at high pressure to tenderize them.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  28. Hello! Could you please attach a link or instructions as to how to make the black bean sauce from scratch? I have the fermented black beans at home, but I dont know how to make it into a sauce!

    Thanks!

  29. Just wondering why you added the oil, cornstarch, and water separately into the ribs. Would it work the same if I made a slurry with the cornstarch and water (until the cornstarch was dissolved), then add the oil, before mixing it into the ribs?

    1. Hi Irene,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It’s a traditional way of marinating in the Chinese Cuisine.
      The oil gives it a protective layer to the marinated ribs and help distribute the marinade around.
      The cornstarch acts as a binder to bind the wet ingredients to bind to the meat.
      The water is soaked by the spare ribs to increase the moisture level in the meat.

      Not sure how scientific this is, but we followed it as a tradition 🙂

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking
      Jacky

  30. I tried out your recipe with a Corning glass bowl that would fit in the IP POT trivet with handles so I could easily remove the bowl after it was done.

    I cooked as 20 min and natural release after 10 min and the meat at the top of the bowl looks fine. As I went to the deeper parts of the bowl the meat and the sauce looked a little more red or pink. Is that normal? If you use a steamer with holes in it won’t the sauce or marinade escape?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Yen,

      thank you for your question.
      The corning glass bowl is too thick. A thin stainless steel bowl/plate is the best option as it transfer heat quickly followed by corelle bowls.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking
      Jacky

    1. Hi AW,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Mirin will not be a good substitution for shaoxing wine.
      Dry Sherry wine is a better substitution. If you don’t have sherry wine on hand, you can simply omit it.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Triaha,
      thank you for your question.
      This dish will do better with steaming on a steamer basket than braising in the IP.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  31. Hi! I have the fermented black beans, can I use it instead of the black bean sauce? Should I rinse it first and mix it with the marinade? Thank you.

    1. Hi Karen, thank you for your question.
      Yes, you will have to rinse the fermented black beans and roughly chopped them up before mixing with the marinade.
      You can actually make homemade black bean sauce with fermented black beans using oil, minced garlic, ginger, Shaoxing wine, and salt :)!

      – Jacky

    1. Hi Maxlene,

      Thanks for your question.
      You can definitely use stovetop pressure cooker to make this spare ribs recipe.
      You can cook it at High Pressure for 12-13 minutes, then Natural Release.
      Let us know how it turns out! 🙂

  32. I’d love to see pics of your step by step process…. ?
    Do you think the type of bowl/dish matters when cooking? Metal vs glass vs ceramic? What did you use? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      Thank you your comment! We have been trying to include step by step videos on most of our recent recipes. Hope you find those useful 🙂
      We used a shallow metal dish for this recipe. Unless your glass bowl is particularly thick, the cooking time should be the same.

    1. Hi Lucy,
      It will be faster if you steam it on the stovetop for roughly 20-25minutes. (It will not be as tender)
      If you really want to slow cook this recipe, it will take roughly 5 hours and yes, you will need to use more liquid 🙂

  33. I have a very old Presto pressure cooker that I use infrequently but still works. Would it be suitable for this recipe? I really don’t want to invest in a new piece of equipment. With only one cup of water in my 6 quart cooker is it likely for the water to boil away and overheat the cooker?

    1. Hi Nelhop,

      Cooking under pressure doesn’t require a lot of liquid. Most stovetop pressure cookers require a minimum of 1/2 cup to 1 cup of liquid to cook under pressure. If possible, try to find your owner’s manual and check the recommended minimum level of liquid to be sure. If you’re using your stovetop pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for this recipe, remember to reduce the cooking time by 2 – 3 minutes.
      Let us know how it turns out when you try it!! 🙂

      Amy

    2. Thanks Amy for your reply. I made the recipe using my old pressure cooker. I used pork stew meat in cubes instead of spare ribs so it wasn’t an authentic dish but it turned out wonderful! The meat was so tender and the sauce perfect.

    3. That’s really awesome Nelhop!! 😀 We’re really happy that you enjoyed it. Hope you can enjoy more delicious food cooking with your Presto pressure cooker! 🙂

    1. Congrats on getting married Gigi!!! 🙂
      Yep, put the pressure cooker on the list quick! You’ll love it 😀

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