Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Amazing what you can cook in the microwave

So, my induction cooktop has gone on the fritz, and thus here I am with no cooktop. Someone is supposed to come out on the 14th to fix it. It will have been broken for 3 weeks by then, and then what do you bet they need to order a part and it takes another three weeks to actually get fixed? And costs an arm and a leg, too, I expect.

But that’s not the interesting part. That’s just the annoying part. This is the interesting part:

Did you realize you can cook medium-coarse bulgur in the microwave? I got the water boiling, then cooked the bowl for 30 seconds, then off for 3 minutes, then 30 more seconds, etc. The bulgur cooked perfectly. I was making bulgur with eggplant and halloumi cheese, in case you’re curious.

Feeling a bit under the weather? You can cook ramen noodles — my usual alternative to canned chicken soup, which I don’t like — in the microwave. The noodles came out starchy, but okay considering I was not in a mood to care.

Eggs, not very easily or very well. I don’t find that the broiler works well for eggs, either. I miss being able to use my small skillet on the stove. Usually I use my electric skillet mainly for pancakes, but finally I realized I could of course use it for eggs. It’s way too big for just one egg, but that’s life.

I made chili yesterday. I know, it’s far too hot for chili, but all these peppers were coming off the plants, so I made chili with pork shoulder and tomatoes and lots and lots of roasted, chopped, seeded chilies. Anaheims, mostly, plus hot wax peppers and jalapenos. Then I figured out how to use the slow-cook feature offered by my oven and cooked the chili for nine hours on low. I had never even noticed the slow-cook button before, so that was nice to discover.

Rice, I guess, is impossible. Unless it can be cooked in the oven, I suppose. I am not desperate enough to try that, yet.

Cooking raspberries into a sauce, no.

Steaming Chinese dumplings or buns, no.

I can make potstickers in my electric skillet, though, so there’s that. But I’m still crossing my fingers that the repair person will be able to actually fix my stovetop on the 14th, rather than just come out and gaze helplessly at my stove top and go away again. In the meantime, certain recipes are shuffling into a pile of maybe-in-a-few-weeks . . .

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7 Comments Amazing what you can cook in the microwave

  1. Mary Beth

    I’ve had luck with frozen steamed buns by setting on a plate, covering in plastic wrap and microwaving briefly — turns out that’s how the Chinese employees at the bakery reheated bao. I don’t think it’d work for steaming buns from scratch, though.

    I currently have the opposite issue in my kitchen — when I moved to a new apartment I decided not to buy a microwave. So far I’ve only regretted the decision when it comes to reheating leftover rice!

  2. SarahZ

    Scrambled eggs work pretty well, I think. I put 2 eggs, along with the milk & whatever else you want to scramble them with into a mug. You stir them up the way you normally would, cook for 45 seconds, stir again, and then do another 45 seconds, and they should be done. You might have to adjust cook times based on microwave power, but that works well for me.

  3. SarahZ

    Oh, also, lots of veggies microwave well – spaghetti squash, baked potatoes, asparagus…
    If you have a Trader Joe’s near you they have some really nice microwaveable quinoa, polenta, & risotto sides.

  4. Rachel

    Hey, thanks — I will try the eggs-in-the-microwave thing tomorrow. I have to say, *nothing* is near me — there’s a Trader Joe’s, but it’s sixty miles away.

    I really don’t want to invest in a rice cooker. I know they’re supposed to be really great, but usually my stovetop does a fine job.

  5. Estara Swanberg

    I should have probably mentioned that my link leads to a rice cooker thingy for microwaves, in the first place ^^; – it’s not big enough for a whole family’s rice, but for a single person, you can probably have enough rice for two or three servings.

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