This classic healthy fish dish is perfect served with steamed rice and some greens. You can replace the whole snapper with a large fish fillet – any white-fleshed fish works well. This sauce is also delicious with steamed mud crab or lobster. If you don’t like it hot, you can always remove the chilli and the sauce will still be well-balanced and not spicy, with a rich ginger and shallot flavour.
700g-1kg whole snapper, scaled and cleaned
60ml (¼ cup) fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 coriander roots, scraped and pounded
1 tbsp julienned fresh ginger
2 long red chillies, seeded and julienned
3 green bird's-eye chillies, sliced
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
3 spring onions, julienned
1. Pat the fish dry with paper towel and place it onto a chopping board. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slits into the meatiest part of the fish, then repeat in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern, which will help to cook the fish more evenly. Turn the fish and repeat the process on the other side.
2. Put the fish on a plate in a steamer over rapidly boiling water, then cover and steam until the fish is almost cooked through. This will take about 15 minutes for a larger fish, 10-12 minutes for a slightly smaller one.
3. Remove the lid from the steamer, sprinkle over all the remaining ingredients except the spring onion.
4. Replace the lid and continue steaming for about 5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.The fish should be just set on the bone, which will be exposed by the cuts.
5. Transfer the fish from the steamer onto a warmed platter, pour over the cooking juices and top with the julienned spring onion.