Microwaving asparagus is actually fairly simple – once you know-how. There are, however, a few tricks and tips you’ll want to know along the way before you go tossing a whole bundle of asparagus into the microwaving and crossing your fingers.
How to Microwave Asparagus
There is really only one approach to take with asparagus if the approach you wish to take is the microwave. We’ve outlined this below:
- Trim Asparagus
Cut the ends of your asparagus off. You want to cut the woody end of the spears off as these are a little tough to eat. Once you have done this wash the asparagus under running cool water.
- Lay In a Shallow Dish
Find a shallow dish and place the spears into this. Lay them flat in a row. You don’t want to layer them up. Add a splash of water to the dish.
Cover with cling film that is suitable for the microwave. You want to vent one corner of this.
- Microwave for 4 Minutes
Pop into the microwave and heat on high for four minutes.
- Test for Doneness
Test with a fork to see if the asparagus is done. If not pop it back in for a few seconds. Test again and repeat until you have the desired texture.
Season and serve the asparagus.
3 Tips for Microwaving Asparagus
The method above is the basic approach to take when microwaving asparagus. But here are a few tips you’ll want to bear in mind to have the greatest success:
- Try Using a Steamer – When you are microwaving asparagus you are actually steaming them which is a fantastic method for cooking vegetables. If you have a microwave steamer then you can use this instead of using a plate. The results will be similar so use whatever you are most comfortable using.
- Add Seasoning Beforehand – Before cooking you could add a little seasoning for flavour. A little chilli powder or garlic powder will bring out the flavour and be delicious by the time it is cooked.
- Experiment With a Different Method – If you find your asparagus doesn’t cook evenly or ends up a little dry you could try a different method. For this, you just need a paper towel. Bundle the asparagus together after cutting and washing. Dampen a paper towel, wrap it around the asparagus, and then pop it onto a plate and microwave for about four minutes.
Advantages of Microwaved Asparagus
There are some obvious benefits to using a microwave to cook asparagus:
- Locks in Nutrients
Cooking asparagus in the microwave has the advantage of locking the nutrients into the veg rather than leaching them out. This is due to the speed at which the asparagus cooks. The faster you cook something the less time it has for the nutrients to dissipate.
- Usually Perfectly Cooked
Steaming your asparagus in the microwave is delicious and quick. Using this method ensures that your asparagus is soft and tender without ending up overcooked.
Disadvantages of Microwaved Asparagus
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news as there are some annoying drawbacks that you do need to weigh up:
- Easy to Overcook
It is easy to overcook asparagus if you microwave it. Because it doesn’t need supervision you can easily forget it. It also doesn’t take much to cook it for far too long. Because it cooks so quickly only a few seconds can make all the difference between delicious and ruined asparagus.
- Must Be Eaten Straightaway
If you cook asparagus in this way then you do need to eat it immediately. It cools quickly and the texture changes considerably as it cools.
How to Reheat Asparagus in the Microwave
If you need to reheat your asparagus all you need to do is pop it into a microwavable bowl or plate. Cover and then pop it in the microwave for about thirty seconds.
Check the temperature and if it needs a little longer put it back in for another twenty seconds. Keep repeating this at ten to twenty-second intervals until the asparagus is hot.
How to Defrost Asparagus in the Microwave
If you have frozen asparagus then you should cook it from frozen. If you try and thaw it out first the asparagus will lose its crispness and it won’t taste quite as good.
The microwave is one of the best ways to cook asparagus. It steams it lightly to a beautiful texture and taste and you can still season it however you like.
The only thing to watch is that you don’t overcook it by accident but as long as you are careful you should be able to avoid this without too many problems.