Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

My brilliant sister-in-law (yes, the same one who showed me how to make these Fresh, Vibrant Greens) showed me a variation on the cooking of Asparagus that blew me away. Yep. She cooks her Asparagus Standing in the Microwave. The bottoms are done beautifully and the tips fresh and gorgeous.

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

The tips are perfect when asparagus is cooked standing up in the microwave

 

I’ve never seen asparagus cooked by any other method turn out so absolutely perfectly! It’s some kind of magic at work. I’m sure of it!

About Asparagus Standing in the Microwave:

I know some serious cooks with ample storage space that have special gadgets to stand their asparagus up vertically and steam it; inserts that go right into a pan of water. I’ve never invested in one of these. There are also special gadgets for the microwave – I’ve never bought these, either. In the past, I’ve steamed my asparagus in a large skillet with a touch of water, and always thought it was great. Until I tried this method.

See, I prefer to put my money into things that multitask well and I’ll use over and over for lots of different things, especially because I have a small kitchen and limited storage space. That’s why I’ve never bought any of those gadgets and part of the reason I’m so psyched with this method. All you need is a microwave-safe container (I prefer my Pyrex measuring cup over a glass) and about an inch of water.

This really has become my go to method of cooking asparagus. While every now and then for a dish that needs to be stir fried, I might deviate but I cook my asparagus standing in the microwave now when I use it for a side or when I use it for another recipe. Even when I’m grilling my asparagus I par cook it in the microwave, first. I just don’t cook it quite as long as it will cook a bit more on the grill.

Making Asparagus Standing in the Microwave:

The cooking time for your asparagus is going to vary just a bit depending on the size of the asparagus spears and the number of them you wish to cook. And of course, any time you’re working with a microwave the size and the wattage can throw things off a bit. The other variable is your personal taste. The degree of doneness at which you like your asparagus will factor into the equation.

I cook a pound of thin asparagus in about six minutes. You might need to tinker just a bit to find your perfect timing.

  • Start with about four minutes, then check every 30 seconds. Keep track of the total time and jot it down somewhere.
  • Next time, knock about a minute off your time, and check, then add 30 seconds if needed.
  • The reason for this weirdness with the time? Because the first time, you actually slowed down the process by opening and closing the microwave door to check on the asparagus; the asparagus will cook faster and might be overdone if you cook it for the total number of minutes you came up with the first time.
  • So you adjust because it’s better to have the asparagus undercooked and have to add a few seconds than to have it overcooked. There’s no coming back from that.

Now when you cook your asparagus, especially the tiny thin spears, you might notice the tops curl just a bit. Lay them out on a plate or whatever you are serving the asparagus on and they’ll unfurl. Help them out just a bit if need be but usually mine just straighten out by themselves.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus, trimmed, peeled and cooked in the microwave, then grilled.

Saving Money on Asparagus Standing in the Microwave:

Asparagus is available where I live (Minnesota) pretty much year-round. The best pricing though (and I think the best tasting) asparagus is in the spring when it’s in season. That’s when I eat more asparagus. I might buy it now and then through the summer or maybe even another time of the year if I see a great sale.

Asparagus is never cheap. There are a couple of ways to maximize it and make sure you get your money’s worth. First of all, I no longer snap off the stems where they naturally break. I used to do that, break one or two and then line them up and cut across the whole bunch.

These days, I just use a peeler and gently (you can break the spears if you’re not careful) peel off the tough outer layer of the bottom of the spears. I start where the asparagus naturally bends if you were to snap it. It’s a few minute’s work but you’ll end up saving a lot of the asparagus. Of course, the very bottom where it was cut from the plant is most likely dried and hard so I do trim that off.

No matter which method I use to trim my asparagus, I save the trimmings and scraps for my Big Fat Green Smoothies on a Budget. They don’t taste great, but they’re sure good for you! If you have any leftover Asparagus, check out my post on 25 Ways To Use Leftover Asparagus.

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

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Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • water
  • pyrex measuring cup
  • Author: mollie
  • Total Time: 4 to 6 minutes
  • Yield: varies
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

The method:

Use a Pyrex measuring cup or any microwave-safe glass and about an inch of water. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the asparagus spears and the number of them you wish to cook, as well as the wattage of your microwave. The degree of doneness at which you like your asparagus will factor into the equation, as well.

I cook 12 ounces to a pound of thin asparagus in about six minutes. You might need to tinker just a bit to find your perfect degree of doneness.

  • Start with about four minutes, then check every 30 seconds. Keep track of the total time and jot it down somewhere.
  • Next time, knock about a minute off your total time, and check, then add 30 seconds if needed.
  • The reason? Because the first time, you actually slowed down the process by opening and closing the microwave door to check on the asparagus;┬áthe asparagus will cook faster and might be overdone if you cook it for the total number of minutes you came up with the first time.
To trim asparagus, either simply bend one or two spears until they snap. Leave the others in the rubber band. Using the snapped spears as a measurement, cut through the bundle or cut off the very bottom and gently peel the spears at the point where they bend towards the bottom end.

Keywords: Asparagus, Microwave, Vegetable Side, Sides

Whether you have pencil thin asparagus or big fat spears, try this easy microwave method to cook it. The tips remain gorgeous & the stalks cook beautifully. Super fast & easy & no fuss! Takes 4 to 6 minutes. #CookAsparagusInTheMicrowave #MicrowaveAsparagus

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