By Hermione Cole | Spring 2024

Maldon’s Cookbook Club with Tim Anderson

This month we’ve teamed up with Hardie Grant Books to explore Tim Anderson’s latest cookbook, ‘Microwave Meals’.

As a celebrated chef, writer, restaurateur, and MasterChef Winner, Anderson’s expertise shines through his eighth cookbook, Microwave Meals, offering a delightful blend of convenience and culinary excellence.

So long slow cookers and air fryers! This cookbook revolutionizes the way we view microwave cooking. With the microwave celebrating over five decades of existence, Tim ingeniously elevates it’s potential with over 60 delectable recipes designed to save time, effort and energy. From tantalising Pork with Miso and Stem Ginger Syrup to the comforting Spaghetti Carbonara, each dish is crafted to perfection using only the microwave, eliminating the need for additional cooking equipment. You can also indulge in the delights like Crab and Artichoke Gratin, or whip up an Emergency Mixing Bowl Cookie Cake for a quick sweet fix!

Beyond recipes, Anderson imparts essential microwave skills, including cooking rice, steaming vegetables and crafting stocks from scratch, making this cookbook an indispensable kitchen companion.

In conversation with Tim Anderson…

Tim, what a fun and creative cookbook you’ve made! Tell us, what inspired you to create a cookbook that focuses on microwaves meals?

I started cooking with my microwave as a result of my research for Japaneasy Bowls and Bento, which is all about how to make Japanese meals every day, for every meal of the day. I started following a lot of Japanese home cooking accounts on Instagram and was reminded of how important microwaves are in Japanese kitchens, which tend to be more compact and rarely have ovens. The many helpful ways that microwaves are used in Japan inspired me to cook with my own microwave more, which ultimately led to me pitching this book!

With over 60 recipes in your cookbook, are there any standout favourites that you think everyone should try?!

The crème pat method is so good and so easy I now never make it any other way. Cooking pasta in the microwave is also a game changer, especially in one-pot meals like the sausage and peppers with penne. But for me the most useful thing to cook in the microwave are simple vegetable side dishes, and my favourites among those are the buttery butter beans and the devilled mushrooms with Marmite and Boursin.

Could you share some tips for maximizing flavour and texture when cooking in the microwave, especially for those new to this method of cooking?

The microwave is generally very good at retaining flavour because it doesn’t break down aroma compounds as much as other heat sources, so then it’s just a matter of seasoning properly. This can be as simple as a pinch of salt, but why stop there? We have a whole arsenal of global flavours at our disposal now, available at any supermarket. This can be anything from ras el hanout to miso to oyster sauce to anchovies. The same stuff you’d use for any type of cooking, really. The microwave is also good at preserving texture, especially in vegetables because they can be cooked so precisely. If you want some extra crunch in your food you can always top it with things like crispy onions, nuts, seeds, or actual crisps.

What does a normal day in the life look like for you, Tim?

Mostly wrangling my children with some writing and cooking in between, interspersed with frequent and prolonged daydreaming about being somewhere that isn’t Lewisham. Usually Tokyo, Hokkaido, Los Angeles, or Malta.

Your ultimate comfort food dish?

Ramen. Kumamoto-style tonkotsu ramen in particular.

Name three things in the kitchen you can’t live without!

A sharp knife, MSG, and a jug of unsweetened iced tea in the fridge.

Do you have a current favourite cookbook that you’re reading?

Yes! Modern Pressure Cooking by Catherine Phipps. This book is incredible, and it’s convinced me that the pressure cooker is likely the only piece of kitchen equipment that can rival the microwave for versatility and efficiency. Thanks to Catherine I now use my pressure cooker almost as often as my microwave. They are perfect partners.

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

Tim associates this dish with American sports bars and family restaurant chains. But with the help of his microwave, he can now enjoy this delicious and versatile side without having to leave his home!

Serves: 2 – 4 people


  • 4 slices of streaky bacon
  • 2 baking potatoes, of average size
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Maldon Sea Salt, as needed
  • 2 shakes of garlic granules
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoons dried dill
  • 50g sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain or Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce (both optional)
  • a handful of chives, finely chopped
  • a few pinches of paprika, plus extra for garnish


  1. Lay the bacon out flat on a plate and cook, uncovered, on power level 6 for 4 minutes in the microwave. Make sure you turn the bacon and move it around the plate halfway through. Drape a piece of paper towel loosely over the top of the bacon, and continue to cook in 1-minute intervals until the bacon is crisped and browned to your liking – about 6 minutes in total.
  2. Leave to cool, then coarsely chop.
  3. Rub the potatoes all over with olive oil and Maldon Sea Salt, and prick them several times with a fork. Place them on the same plate you used to cook the bacon, then cook for 10-12 minutes, turning them halfway through, until soft throughout. Leave to cook completely.
  4. Cut the cooled potatoes in half and scoop them out into a bowl, so you have four little potato skin ‘boats’ and a bowlful of soft, cooked potato. Mash the potato with all the remaining ingredients, but save a few pinches of chives to garnish. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like with Maldon Sea Salt. Spoon the mashed potato mixture back into the skins, then put them on a plate and cook, uncovered, for 7 minutes. To serve, garnish with the chopped bacon, chives and a pinch or two of paprika.

Buy ‘Microwave Meals’ and Recreate a Recipe Today!

You can find where to purchase Tim’s NEW cookbook here and start being creative with food and flavours in the comfort of your kitchen.

Make sure you have your Maldon Salt ready for these recipes! If you are running out, please feel free to browse on our Where to Buy Page to find your nearest store in which stocks our beloved Maldon Salt.

Lastly, we LOVE seeing your creations – please tag us on Instagram using the #maldonsalt so we can share your own take on Tim’s recipes!

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