I love to microwave asparagus. For a quick, easy and very good result, particularly when the family are desperately hungry, I think that using a microwave to cook fresh asparagus is great. In my opinion the result is at least as good if not better than asparagus steamed using an upright steamer. Judge for yourself!
We often eat asparagus as a side vegetable cooked in the microwave with something economical and easy to prepare. The other week we had Corned Beef Hash with asparagus. The hash is a mix of tinned corned beef, tomoatoes, onions, potatoes and whatever other vegetables are in the fridge, mushrooms, courgettes, sweetcorn.... not forgetting the magic ingrediant "Worcester Sauce". Just fry in a big saucepan...
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Two things are really useful to microwave asparagus.
1. An automatic cook sensor microwave makes things really easy.
2. A cheap plastic fish/vegetable steamer that is microwave suitable and fits in your microwave.
If you have not got an auto cook sensor microwave, then it is a matter of reading the good old manufacturers literature, or trial and error depending on the power output of your microwave, and how well you like your vegetables cooked – although most people would agree that you should not overcook asparagus.
If you have not already got a purpose made vegetable steamer for the microwave it is really worth getting one, or alternatively any microwave suitable cookware can be used, as long as it has a reasonable fitting lid. we have a rectangular plastic stamer that is just perfect for aspargus. You may need to cut the spears in half, depending on the dimensions of the cookware that you are using. Its seems a bit of a shame but it won't alter the taste!
Rinse and prepare the asparagus as usual, obviously depending on how hungry you and your guests are determines how many spears you need to cook. I like to work on the basis of five to eight spears per person. Place the spears in your steamer or dish with the tips facing in and the thicker stalks that need a bit more cooking facing outwards.
Then, place a little water in the plastic steamer, pop it in the microwave and set to cook on auto cook (if you have that facility) or if not use your own common sense / read the good old manufacturers instructions etc.
After cooking, remove from the microwave, using oven gloves because it will get quite hot and also do not forget that the asparagus spears will continue to cook if you leave them in the steamer. Be careful as you open the lid as the steam will also be hot! When you are happy that they are cooked to taste, serve and season with salt and pepper as required and if you are not too worried about calories add a small (or big!) knob of butter and enjoy.
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