A whole steamed fish makes a spectacular feast. Drizzling hot oil over the skin before serving makes the skin delightfully crisp.
700 g whole fish (such as snapper), gutted and scaled (ask your fishmonger to do this)
1 bunch garlic chives or 4 spring onions, trimmed, plus extra spring onion slices, to serve
1?4 cup (60 ml) chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
steamed rice, to serve
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and make three diagonal cuts on each side through the thickest part.
Place the chives or spring onions on a heatproof plate large enough to hold the fish and fit in the steamer. Place the fish on top. Mix together the stock and soy sauce and pour over the fish. Scatter with the ginger.
Put the plate in the steamer and set the steamer over a pot or wok of boiling water. Cover and steam the fish for 15 minutes, or until just cooked (the flesh will be opaque and will flake easily when tested with a fork).
Remove the plate from the steamer and scatter the fish with extra spring onion slices. Heat the oils in a small saucepan until just smoking, then pour over the cooked fish.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.
Tip: If the fish is too large for your steamer, or you don’t have one, wrap the fish in a large sheet of foil – bring the two ends up and fold them over to form a tent, then roll the two short sides up to seal in all the liquid and flavours. Bake at 200°C for 15–20 minutes, or until cooked through.
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