Steamed spare ribs (pai gwut) is a major treat for meatlovers. The pork ribs are cut cross-wise into small pieces and steamed with fermented black beans and a touch of sesame oil. Sometimes, the dish will be garnished with hot peppers but any spiciness is subtle. The juice in this dish, unfortunately high in salt and fat, is great on rice. I’ve seen some mediocre restaurants use larger pieces of spare rib for this dish. The small ribs and tips are much better.
Warning: It takes some effort and attention to eat this dish if you don’t want to chip your tooth. After a few pieces of practice, however, you should be able to carefully nibble around the bones. It’s acceptable to spit out your bones. In some places in China, diners will spit them out on the floor but I don’t recommend you do this if you want to be welcomed back by the restaurant. Steamed spare ribs have quickly become a dim sum favorite of my kids.