Have the butcher saw the spareribs into about one inch thick pieces. Put the spareribs in a medium four-quart saucepan and fill with enough water to cover completely. Par-boil the spareribs over medium heat until the meat is just cooked, about four minutes. Drain the spareribs completely and rinse under cold water to get rid of any scum.
Peel and cut the mountain yam into about one-inch irregular shape pieces.
Put the spareribs in a Chinese soup tureen. Add the rest of the ingredients into the tureen. Cover the tureen. Place the tureen in a stockpot large enough to completely enclose it. Add water to about two inches deep in the pot. Steam the soup by simmering the water for two hours. Check every 30 minutes to make sure there is always enough water.
Lift the tureen out of the pot and serve the soup piping hot.