Many of us love spinach, but the busy lifestyles make us prone to eat leftover spinach rather than fresh, on-the-plate meals. So, how to steam spinach in microwave your daily meal? We guess you often use a microwave!
However, you might spoil these delicate greens if you just toss them into the microwave without preparing. To your surprise, there are specific methods so that it stays fresh and edible even after multiple cooks. Then how do you steam spinach correctly? That’s the question we are going to solve today!
Is It Okay To Microwave Spinach?
Can you microwave spinach? Yes, you can. If you need a fast meal, including spinach, it is okay to microwave spinach. With a short cooking time and a proficient heat amount, you can cook spinach in the microwave while maintaining its texture and nutrients.
Rather than boil baby spinach, microwaving is a fast, simple method with an amount of iron, calcium, and phosphorus maintained to ensure you a healthy diet.
You may lose up to 50% of nutrients while boiling spinach. In that case, you can switch to microwave cooking to maintain all nutrients with proper spinach taste and texture.
How To Steam Spinach In Microwave?
Here are the seven steps to prepare how to cook fresh spinach in microwave. Follow these instructions on how to wilt spinach in microwave carefully, and you will have stunning, delicious spinach to taste:
Step 1: Prepare Fresh Spinach
If you have bought fresh spinach in the market or newly harvested from the garden, the first step you need to do is thoroughly washing them. Either where you get the spinach, it’s typical to find soil and dirt on the leaves.
You need to run them under the faucet 2-3 times to ensure your spinach is completely clean on the outside. If there is any dirt lingering, use your finger to remove them.
After washing through all spinach, investigate them to see if there is any long stem. These stems are edible but bitter, so if you don’t want any bitterness in your recipes, it’s time to remove them. Spinach leaves are much more tender and appetizing. You use a knife or scissors to trim the stems off and keep the leaves only.
Pat all leaves dry with a towel or let them stay at room temperature for air-drying a few minutes before bringing them to cook.
Another way for you to prepare spinach faster is by purchasing an airtight bag of fresh spinach. These bags normally include fresh spinach with stems cut off, so you won’t have to take time to remove the stems. But to be safe, remember to wash the spinach one more time before cooking.
Step 2: Chop The Spinach
Spinach leaves are quite big, and they can cause an inconvenience to your dishes. So, the best way to steam spinach is by chopping them into small pieces rather than eating whole leaves.
All you have to do is layer 5-10 leaves at a time in a horizontal position, hold one side with your non-dominant hand, and chop the leaves vertically with your dominant hand. Chop it in big or small strips, depending on your preference. But chopped spinach is much easier to eat, and it won’t lose its flavor while cooking.
Step 3: Place Spinach In A Microwave-safe Bowl
Place your chopped spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Remember to use a bowl with material specific for microwaving as an unsuitable bowl can be dangerous for you and your meal. Even a plastic box is not safe in this situation.
The bigger your bowl is, the more spinach you can stuff in; however, refrain from putting too much spinach in as you need space and air to let them cook.
Step 4: Season The Spinach
You cannot let it cook bland, right? It’s time to bring some flavors to your spinach! Seasoning the spinach before steaming in the microwave will deliver a more vibrant taste than after microwaving, as the spinach will absorb flavor.
Depending on your taste, you can season the spinach with butter, garlic, lemon juice, and sesame oil under a suitable ratio. If you haven’t known how to toast sesame oil, check it out here. Remember that this step is optional; if you prefer after-seasoning, it’s fine as well.
Step 5: Wrap The Spinach.
After preparing spinach in a bowl, you need to cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid to ensure all heat and moisture are absorbed to cook the spinach wholly. If your container does not have a lid, use plastic wrap and cover your bowl entirely to let the steam not escape and fully cook your spinach.
Step 6: Microwave The Spinach
Now that you have everything ready on the plate, put the bowl into your microwave and heat the spinach in high mode. So, how long does it take to steam spinach? The answer is 2 minutes. If you have a large bowl with a lot of spinach inside, consider microwaving it for 3 minutes.
Step 7: Serve The Spinach
Now that you know how long to microwave spinach! After 2-3 minutes, remove the spinach from the microwave. Carefully open the lid and use a spoon to toss the spinach around to find any uncooked leave. Stirring up spinach will make the leftover heat cook the uncooked one and absorb flavor in all leaves.
While cooking in the microwave, high heat can cause spinach to extract extra water. If you find too much unnecessary water in your bowl, you can drain some water out to make your meal less mushy by using a drainer.
If you haven’t seasoned your spinach, then it is time to do it now. Spray on some salt, pepper, garlic, and mix them all to have simple yet stunning steam spinach in the microwave.
Spinach is great to use as garnish, salad, or combining with mushrooms such as shiitake or porcini mushroom substitute. The possibilities are endless when it comes to serving spinach to the finest! And that’s how to microwave spinach.
Does Microwaving Spinach Kill Bacteria?
As microwaving spinach is an effective way of cooking and maintaining nutrients, it can get rid of bacteria and pathogens that exist in spinach. The internal temperature of a heating microwave is approximately 160-165 degrees F, and this heat level has been proven to kill up to 99% of living bacteria.
Tips On How To Steam Spinach In The Microwave?
Although steaming spinach in the microwave sounds simple, here are some important tips you need to remember not to mess up the process:
- Do not steam spinach in the microwave for more than 3 minutes. Or else, baby spinach texture can be broken due to high heat, and it is also possible to release toxic substances harmful to your health. So, how long do you steam spinach? Well, you should only allow your spinach to stay in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and not longer.
- If you want to substitute frozen spinach for fresh, it’s fine as well. You can use the same steaming process as we instructed with fresh spinach, but remember to thaw your frozen spinach for 10 minutes before microwaving it.
- You should not microwave the spinach in a bag under any circumstances. Microwaving spinach is also a cooking process, so you need a proper tool to wilt spinach in microwave properly. Cooking spinach in a bag is not only dangerous for you as for the plastic burn risk, but it also affects your spinach to be undercooked. No matter how hurried you are, put your spinach in a microwave bowl before microwaving it.
- Spinach is 73% water, so you won’t need to add extra water before microwaving it. The heating process will make spinach’s natural water extracted.
And that’s how to steam spinach in microwave. Knowing how to cook spinach in microwave is beneficial for your cooking knowledge. Rather than boiling or roasting spinach in a pan, microwaving spinach is faster while bringing stunning flavors. Thank you for reading, and we will see you in another article! Enjoy your steamed spinach with your family and friends!