The Food Lab's Micro-Steamed Asparagus With Poached Egg and Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe

poached egg with asparagus
Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Since a microwave very efficiently and rapidly uses the liquid inside the vegetables themselves to heat them from the inside, you can micro-steam the asparagus in a matter of minutes.
  • Straining eggs in a fine-mesh strainer removes excess wispy, loose whites, creating tight, perfectly shaped eggs.

A poached egg and walnut vinaigrette round out this steamed asparagus, made by harnessing the power of your microwave. You can also use the vinaigrette on roasted vegetables, like beets or sweet potatoes, or on robust bitter greens, such as radicchio, endive, or frisée.

This recipe is excerpted from The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. You can sign up for The Food Lab Newsletter for news about upcoming events.


The Food Lab: How to Poach Eggs

Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 2 servings

Rate & Comment



  1. Place asparagus in an even layer on a large microwave-safe plate and season with salt and pepper. Lay a triple layer of damp paper towels on top of asparagus, completely covering them, or cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Microwave on high power until asparagus is bright green and tender but still crisp, 2 1/2 to 6 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

  2. Remove asparagus and arrange on warmed serving plates. Top with poached eggs, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve.

Special equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, microwave

This Recipe Appears In