Can You Successfully Microwave Asparagus?

(Last Updated On: May 28, 2012)

Have you ever wondered if you can microwave asparagus? Of course you can right. You open up the microwave door, stick in some asparagus, close the door, enter some time and there you go. Your microwave isn’t going to blow up or asparagus is going to magically disappear. That’s not the question I am asking here. I asking can you SUCCESSFULLY cook asparagus in the microwave and have it turn out good. The answer is YES YOU CAN! I recently follow Alton Brown’s method of cooking asparagus.

All you have to do is wrap a pound of trimmed asparagus up in 3-4 paper towels. You need to wet down the paper towels with no more than 1/4 cup of water. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, carefully remove with tongs and you have a bright green side dish ready for any meal.

So why even bother microwaving asparagus? Why not just steam or boil it. If you have ever seen boiled asparagus it ends up looking an unappetizing drab green. Steam it works out better, but it does take some time and if it’s a hot day you might not want evaporating water raising the humidity level of your kitchen. By microwaving it in a paper towel you allow the water found in the asparagus to naturally steam it. The paper towel keeps everything moist and a beautiful shade of green. And the asparagus is ready for another use, like chopped up for a frittata or in a salad or whatever you like.

I recommend some kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to start. Just add them before you roll up the asparagus. In the end I also like to add some freshly ground nutmeg and lemon zest.