Snapper is ideal for this dish, but many other fish work just as well: try coral trout, red emperor, silver perch, or any other flaky white-fleshed fish.
Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper and put it onto a chopping board. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slits into the meatiest part of the fish, then repeat this 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.
Put the cabbage leaf and whole shallots on the bottom of a heatproof bowl that will fit into the steamer and take the fish comfortably.
Rub the fish with salt and put it into the bowl on top of the shallots.
Mix the stock, soy, sesame oil, shao xing and castor sugar and pour this over the fish, then top with the ginger.
Put the bowl in the steamer over rapidly boiling water and steam for 10-15 minutes (the time will vary, depending on the circulation of the steam).
The fish should be just setting on the bone, which will be exposed by the diagonal cuts.
Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it will cook a little more when it is covered with hot oil.
Remove the bowl from the steamer and scatter the shredded shallots over the fish.
Heat the peanut oil in a small pan until it is smoking, then douse the fish with the oil – be careful, it will spit! (The fish can be served straight from the steamer bowl but if you wish to transfer it to a platter, you should do so before you pour it over the hot oil.)
Top with the coriander and serve immediately.
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