Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

My brilliant sister-in-law (yes, the same one who showed me how to make fresh, vibrant greens) showed me a variation on the cooking of Asparagus that blew me away. Cook asparagus standing up in the microwave in a glass of water. The bottoms are done beautifully and the tips fresh and gorgeous. They unfurl as soon as they are laid flat.

Beautifully cooked, top to bottom Asparagus in the microwave
Beautifully cooked, top to bottom Asparagus in the microwave

While serious cooks with ample storage space may have special gadgets to stand their asparagus up and steam it, I’ve never invested in one of these. Others have special gadgets for the microwave – I’ve never bought these, either.

I prefer to put my money into things that multitask well, and with this method all that is needed is 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 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 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; 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.

Asparagus Standing in the Microwave

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 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 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; 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.
To trim asparagus, 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.

 

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

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

Don’t throw away the ends or the water if you make green smoothies, soups, or if you compost.

Don't toss cooking water if you make soups or stews or vegetable waste if you make green smoothies.
Don’t toss cooking water if you make soups or stews or vegetable waste if you make green smoothies.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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