Rush Hour Gourmet

In little more than a decade, tilapia has gone from being barely recognized to one of our most popular fish, with both fresh and frozen fillets found in supermarkets.

Tilapia's mild, sweet flavor, firm white flesh, and moderate price make it the ideal base for combinations such as this with peanuts, scallions and ginger.

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Peanut-Crusted Tilapia With Frizzled Scallions and Ginger.

Peanut-Crusted Tilapia, Frizzled Scallions and Ginger

(Makes 2 servings)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 medium scallions, cut in thin matchstick strips (1/2 cup)

1 knob ginger (2- by-11/4-inches), peeled, cut in fine matchsticks

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts or cashews

2 skinless tilapia fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)

4 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy, nonstick skillet, heat oil hot. Fry the scallions and ginger, stirring often, to golden with some green, 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, move the scallions and ginger to drain on paper towels (leave oil in pan). Toss the ginger and scallions with salt.

2. Line up 3 wide, shallow dishes. Put flour in the first, beat the egg in the second, put the peanuts in the third.

3. Season the fish with salt. One at a time, dredge fillets in flour (tap off excess), dip in egg, and coat with nuts.

4. Reheat the oil to medium-hot. Cook fillets golden with opaque flesh, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat if fillets brown too fast.

5. Serve on warm plates. Sprinkle with vinegar and pepper. Serve topped with the frizzled ginger and scallions.

- From the Fine Cooking Annual, Volume 2

(Taunton Press, 2008)

Per serving: 434 calories, 37 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, 27 grams fat, 170 milligrams cholesterol, 480 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.