Braised pork ribs and bittergourd in black bean is a dish made with soft bone pork ribs and bitter gourd, braised slowly in a sauce made with fermented salted black beans and spiced with dried chillies. If you are using the Lee Kum Kee brand of spicy black bean sauce, the chillies are already included in it. You can add in dried chillies if you desired the dish to be more spicy.

You can pair this dish with steamed rice or porridge / congee as this dish can be quite flavourful and on the salty side.


Prep time 15 mins

Cook time 2 hour

Serve 3


  • 300 g pork ribs (soft bones), cut into small sections
  • 1 medium sized bitter gourd, sliced
  • 1 tbsp spicy black bean sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 thumb sized ginger, minced
  • Salt
  • Oil for stir fry

Sauce for the braised pork ribs and bittergourd

  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tsp potato starch
  • 1 cup water


  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice into 1 inch slices.
  2. Generously sprinkle and rub salt onto the slices. Rinse the bitter gourd after 30 mins and drain well. This helps to remove some of the bitterness from the bitter gourd.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce into a small bowl and put aside for later use.
  4. Add some oil in a pot and brown the pork ribs in it. Set aside.
  5. Sautee the garlic and ginger in the same pot and then add in the spicy black bean sauce and fry for couple of mins.
  6. Add in the pork ribs and stir fry to mix well.
  7. Pour in the sauce mixture and bring to boil for a few minutes. Turn down the fire and let it simmer for an hour.
  8. Add in the bitter gourd after an hour and continue to simmer for another half hour.
  9. Serve while hot.

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