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 want to ask/then answer here. I am asking can you SUCCESSFULLY cook asparagus in the microwave and have it turn out good?
And that answer is…
YES YOU CAN!
The method I use comes from an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats.
The equipment you need – a roll of paper towel (and your microwave of course)
Microwave Asparagus – Wet Paper Towel Method
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.
You need to be careful not to get the paper towels too wet or they will break. So if you a have spray bottle that is the best way to wet the towels.
How Long To Microwave Asparagus
Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. The item really depends on how powerful your microwave is and what texture you want your asparagus to be.
Make sure to carefully remove the asparagus with tongs as it will be hot to touch.
Why Would You Microwave Asparagus?
There are plenty of asparagus cooking options available 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.
Steaming asparagus works out better. Downside – 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 quiche or in a salad or whatever you like. It’s really the most convenient way to cook asparagus if you are going to use it in another dish.
How to Season Microwaved Asparagus
I recommend just some kosher salt if you are planning to use that asparagus as an ingredient for another dish.
Now if you are going to use it for a side dish, well then you are in the right place as I have some great ideas.
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Lemon zest
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Grated hard cheese like Parmesan or Percono Romano
- Smoked salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
All of these would really elevate your asparagus game.
How I like to season asparagus takes it to a different galaxy.
I have discovered Cured Sumac. This stuff will make your asparagus taste like you added lemon to it even thought you haven’t. Sumac also brings spice and bitterness. My favorite sumac comes from Burlap & Barrel, a single origin spice company that works directly with growers.
Microwave Asparagus with Sumac & Pecorino Romano
An easy to make side dish of asparagus enhanced with quality ingredients.
Cut the bottom 2 inches of the asparagus stalks off. They are too tough. They can be saved for stock making.
Roll out the paper towel. Just get it slightly damp with water.
Lay the asparagus out in a single layer. Add the salt and sumac.
Roll up the paper towel with the asparagus inside.
Place in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Allow to sit in the microwave for 1 minute before removing. Use tongs to remove it.
Gently unfold the towel and allow any steam to escape.
Place into your serving dish. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle on the cheese.
How I Microwaved Asparagus at Work
I want to leave you with this true story. when I used to work at Whole Foods Market on a couple occasions I would buy asparagus before break time.
Then during my dinner break I would get some paper towel and microwave it in the break room. It was a quick way to add some veggies to my dinner.
You could even do it in your own work place. You would be the coolest person ever, despite the weird looks you might get.