"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Microwave Cooking...is it safe?

I have often used the microwave for reheating small amounts of food. One day, for lunch, I decided to eat the leftover rice and beef dish (heated separately), but thought of adding egg on top of the rice just because I miss eggs. I was wondering whether I could cook egg like sunny side up, without the hassles of frying on the pan (getting rid of the need for the unnecessary oil and having less to wash).

I usually reheat my rice by sprinkling it with some water and some chicken flavoring (excess from chicken noodles that my sons and which I as a child used to love) for 1 minute under high power setting. This time, with the egg, I decided to have it sit on top of the rice (which was in a microwavable plastic container), sprinkled some garlic powder, ground black pepper, salt and powdered onion on it, then set the time at 1min 30 sec under high power. Wow! I was so glad with the result: all white eggwhite and the yolk was just right for me (cooked on the sides but with a little gel-like consistency at the middle). Parang malasado! For those wanting a fully-cooked egg, maybe 1 min 45 secs is enough cooking time. But I am speaking here of cooking my egg with my rice (which, by the way, tasted like fried rice without the fat!).

I decided to have this method of cooking eggs for my sons. Then some thoughts nagged me. I recalled some issues before about the effects of microwave on hotdogs, etc. Though I haven't really thought that microwave is harmful to the food and eventually to the eater, my readings on the manual when it was relatively new technology (like how to use foil to shield some parts of the chicken so they will not burn) led me to infer that it operated on the concepts of photons being converted to heat energy (which I found out now to be erroneous). So I never really thought it was dangerous. Only now have I really tried to seek explanations on how microwave works. A Physicist I am not, but this highly credible link by a university with Qs answered by a physicist provided me with enough facts to be assured on using my microwave oven whenever I feel like it, and also gave me pointers on how to treat microwave-heated liquidsi with respect (I also heat up my milk for 1 minute using the microwave, heat a hotdog piece for 35 seconds, 2 pcs for 47 secs, etc.). I have tried heating a plate of foods but I was disappointed with the result, I ended up reheating each item separately.

This is egg microwaved on regular for 45 seconds, uncovered. Instead of poaching or boiling it, I preferred to use this method if only to be used in chicken mami noodle soup...

And this is like a frittata where I used bits of hotdogs and ham plus chopped onions and tomatoes...

I also tried microwaving to make mashed potatoes. My microwave had a setting for such. 4 minutes was all it took, no wasting of flavor because it didn't need submerging in water.

For my hubby's dinner at work (I didn't tell him I didn't boil it. Baka maging prejudiced...):

I have found a website before which featured microwave cooking. I wanna try that some time.

Other uses of microwave aside from cooking: kill the bacteria from sponges and washcloth if you are still handwashing your dishes. Put in microwave and heat for 1 minute.


  1. I have often avoided the use of a microwave oven for safety reasons. Even in my office pantry, we have a microwave oven for those who wish to cook or to warm up their food. It is very popular and we encourage our staff to eat healthy by bringing their own food. We ahve a large fridge, an oven toaster, continuous hot water, etc. to keep our staff happy.

    Guess I ought to try using the microwave more.

  2. Yeah...me too. And thanks to that website by a Physicist, I learned that my fear was unnecessary (same fear that nagged me about cellphones.) Now I just use microwave whenever I need convenience (softening or melting butter or baking chocolate squares, heating or boiling water, etc.)


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