This is derived from a Cantonese dish called 豉汁蒸排骨 “si zap zing paai gwat”. I should have used “rib tips” to be authentic (which apparently can be had in a Chinese butcher/grocery store) but I used the entire spare rib which has significant belly portions attached and much more meat than the traditional “rib tips”.
I used two bone-in pork spare ribs (about 400-500 grams or about 1 lb.). The marinade is made of black bean garlic sauce 蒜蓉豆鼓醤 (2 tbs), chili garlic sauce 蒜蓉辣椒醬 (1 tsp), soy sauce (1 tbs), sake (2 tbs), roasted sesame oil (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp), potato or corn starch (2-3 tsp) and grated ginger (1/2 tsp). I did not add more garlic or red pepper since both sauces contain garlic and the chili garlic sauce is quite spicy (but you could add these). I first season the meat with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (go light, the sauce has enough salt) and massage in the marinade and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. I then set up a steamer (I use an electric wok). I place several leaves of cabbage and lettuce on the bottom of a large deep plate (I used a pasta plate) and set it in the steamer with strong continuous steam. Since the size of meat is much larger than “rib tips”, I steamed for about 1 hour. Because of the potato starch, a nice sauce will form on the bottom of the plate.
I cut a small portion and serve it with steamed cabbage and lettuce. Although the meat has nice flavors, it is a bit tough. I put the left-overs in the refrigerator. A few days later, after removing the congealed fat, I re-steamed it for another 20-30 minutes with a base of fresh lettuce leaves. The meat became much more tender and the flavor better amalgamated. I served this dish as a small drinking dish but you could serve a larger portion over cooked rice with more sauce, that will be a dinner.