Asparagus, to peel or not to peel? Quick Microwave Steamed Asparagus

I like to peel it, especially when making Quick Microwave Steamed Asparagus.

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Am I the only one who peels their asparagus in order to get every inch of asparagus goodness out of a bundle? It’s kind of a pain, but I like that I can salvage more of the veggie, especially the fat tough stalks!  I like to use my microwave steamer because it cooks up asparagus perfectly every time, and I can cook it in about three and a half minutes! I know from experience that it’s better if you blanch it, then grill it, or saute it, so you’ll love my “one pot” method using the microwave steamer. 


I use the microwave steamer to do a quick steam/blanch, then plunge it in ice water. Then back in the steamer it goes with a little spice and a drizzle of olive oil! Or, I chop it up for use in salads, or spice it up and drizzle with oil and give it a quick char on the grill.

Asparagus peelers are easy to use. I use this one. Starting near the top of the flowery stem, gently squeeze the stalk and pull/peel to the end. Adjust pressure so that you don’t peel it down to nothing. Then continue turning the stalk and peeling it until the woody peel is gone. It never fails that a couple will break off, just eat them raw! yumm!


Quick Microwave Steamed Asparagus

This quick microwave-steamed asparagus is easy to make and a great week-night veggie!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 23kcal
Author: ebookfoodie


  • 1 pound Asparagus Trim the ends and peel the woody stalks.
  • 1/4 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon zest optional
  • 1 tsp Olive oil extra virgin


  • Clean the Asparagus by filling a bowl with cold water and submerging it. Pick up the asparagus from the stem end and swish it around so that the flowery tops are pointed down in the water. This will help clean out any dirt that may be in the florettes.
  • Trim about an inch off the stem ends of the asparagus. To find where the tender asparagus starts and the woody, chewy stems start, pick up one stalk and gently bend it until it snaps in two. This gives you an idea of how much to peel off the rest of the bunch.
  •  If peeling asparagus isn’t your thing, just cut down the rest of the bunch to the same length or snap the rest of them off. 
    Asparagus Peeler
  • FIll a large bowl with cold water, about a quarter teaspoon of salt, and about a cup of ice cubes and set aside. You are going to blanch the asparagus so that it stays green and crisp.
    Peeling Asparagus
  • Hopefully you have a microwave steamer. If not, just use a large shallow corningware or microwavable dish with a lid. Put about a half inch of water in the bottom of the microwave steamer and place the asparagus inside the steamer basket. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the asparagus. (If you aren’t using a microwave steamer, just put a small amount of water in the bottom. Don’t submerge all the asparagus.) 
  • Pop the lid on and microwave for about two and a half minutes. Test one out and see if it’s still too crunchy for your liking. You want it mostly cooked. Don’t let it get too mushy, you’re going to cook it again with a drizzle of olive oil and some granulated onion powder!
  • Once it’s cooked to your liking remove it with tongs and plunge it into the bowl of ice water for about a minute. 
  • Drain the water from your microwave steamer. You’re finished with the steamer part of the microwave steamer. Using tongs, return the asparagus to the bowl of the steamer, draining off any excess water, or ice. Sprinkle with onion powder, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil and shake to coat evenly.
  • Microwave for about thirty seconds, or until it’s cooked to your liking. In my microwave, it only takes about thirty seconds. If you have the grill on, instead of microwaving it, use your tongs to place it horizontally on the clean grill grates just long enough to kiss it with delicious grill char marks! 
  • Serve with a sprinkle of lemon zest if you have it! I always zest my citrus before I use it and freeze the zest. That way I have baggies of freezer flavor bombs ready for quick weeknight meals!


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2.4mg

I’d love to hear from you! Please click the stars at the top of the recipe to rate it. It’s super easy to make beautiful bright green asparagus!

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