Trim excess fat from the spareribs. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels until almost dry to the touch. Place spareribs in a 3 quart saucepan. Sprinkle them with sugar and toss to combine. Marinate 30 minutes. Pour off excess liquid. To the same pan, add thin and black soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, rice wine, and 1/2 cup cold water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Covered. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce does not dry up (add a little water if necessary), for 1 hour, or until the spareribs are tender when pierced with a knife and the sauce is thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. Transfer to a plate and skim excess fat from sauce. Pour sauce over the spareribs. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Grace Young, "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen"