Wave goodbye to slow cooking
It’s 36 years since microwave ovens were introduced to New Zealanders. Although they had been used in America since the early 1950s, it wasn’t until their modernisation in the seventies that microwave ovens rode a real wave of success.
Cooks queued for lessons as it was a totally new kitchen concept. Conventional ovens generate heat — microwaves don’t. Microwave ovens generate microwaves that cause the molecules in food to jump about and get very excited. This agitation creates the heat that cooks the food.
Vegetables, fish and sauces are ideally suited to microwave cooking. Because vegetables are cooked with little water they retain most of their nutrients and are colourful, crisp and tasty. Fish retains its moistness and flavour. And sauces cooked in jugs in the microwave don’t ‘catch’ on the base as in traditional saucepan cooking.
Microwave cooking hints
- Check the wattage of your oven. The higher the wattage the quicker it will cook. Most recipes are developed for 1000 watt ovens.
- Just as in conventional cooking, foods are best stirred or turned during microwave cooking.
- Unlike conventional cooking, the more food you microwave the longer it will take.
- It is best to under-cook — you can always add a few extra seconds or minutes of cooking at the push of a button.
- Chilled foods take longer to cook than room-temperature foods.
- Use microwave-safe cookware.
- Metal reflects microwaves therefore should not be used for cooking.
- Always stand food for about one-third of its cooking time before serving.
The cream could be replaced with coconut cream or yoghurt. Serves 4. Get the recipe
A meal in one jug. I use a 2-litre Pyrex jug and cover it with a silicone lid. Serves 4. Get the recipe
Aromatic and moreish. Crushed green peppercorns could be added to the soy sauce mixture for extra zing. Serves 4. Get the recipe