For most people mash takes well over 30 minutes by the time they boil the water and simmer the potatoes for 20-25 minutes. That’s a long time for something which is hardly the highlight of the meal. Fortunately I’ve been reading instructions leaflets again. This time it was worth it. I discovered that you can cook potatoes in just 10 minutes. The secret is to use the microwave rice steamer that features in my list of top 20 things that you need in a kitchen.


Simply peel the potatoes and cut them into small 1-2cm chunks, place them in the bottom of the steamer and add water until they are just covered. Put the lids on and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes. When you hear the bleep drain the water out, add butter and mash as usual.  Just make sure that you do not use a metal masher because it will damage the steamer.

Magnificent mash

When I discovered this quick way of creating mash I decided to see if I could use it to find some ways to make mash a bit more – well, exciting.  A tall order perhaps so I invented the Yuk or Oh method. The idea is to make twice as much mash as I needed and split it into two separate piles before serving. I then added a teaspoonful (5ml) of a herb to one pile, mixed it in  and then tasted it. If it was “yuk” I could then eat the unadulterated version. If it was oh (in good way) I’d then try a different herb on the other portion because I know that I’d like at least one of them.

Some of these Yuk or Oh tests helped create the herbs matched to food guide. If you have discovered some ways to make mash more exciting please let me know.