As part of my work with Panasonic on their #ExperienceFresh campaign, I’ve recently been trying out the Panasonic Combination Microwave NN-DS596B.
Disclosure: I was loaned a Panasonic Combination Microwave NN-DS596B for trial purposes. The opinions below are my own and unbiased.
Confession time – I haven’t owned a microwave since about 2005. I realised that my old microwave was hardly ever being used, and decided to free up some counter space rather than replacing it. So I was a little apprehensive about testing the NN-DS596B when I received it on trial from Panasonic as pert of the #ExperienceFresh Campaign. (Click here for my review of the MK-F800 Food Processor and here for my review of the MX-ZX1800 Blender)
But this microwave is quite unlike the one that I used to own!
It’s a sleek black counter-top combination oven with a generous 27 litre capacity. The 1000W Inverter microwave is backed up with a 1200W quartz grill, and the non-stick Panacrunch pan cleverly convert microwaves into heat. The oven has four different functions:
6 power settings from 100W to 1000W allow you to defrost, reheat or cook from scratch. Detailed charts in the Panasonic Combination Microwave NN-DS596B instruction manual give instructions for a wide range of different foods.
Steaming is a great way to cook low-fat recipes while preserving the nutrients in your food. After filling the reservoir with water, the Panasonic Combination Microwave injects steam into the oven to cook your food quickly and without losing moisture. There are a range of pre-set programmes to choose from, and the oven automatically calculates the cooking time when you enter the weight of food that you are cooking.
The Panasonic Combination Microwave NN-DS596B has three different heat settings to grill everything from fish and meat to pizzas. The Panacrunch pan converts microwaves to heat, and makes sure that your crusts and pastries have a great crunch.
The Panasonic NN-DS596B also have a conventional oven function, with a temperature range of 40-220C. When you are using this function, it’s perfectly safe to use your normal metal ovenware.
You can also use combinations of the different functions together. For instance, you could warm up a cottage pie in the microwave and then use the grill function to crisp up the potato topping. The size and versatility of the Panasonic NN-DS596B means that it would be ideal either as a standalone oven for a single person or couple with a small kitchen, or as a back up to the main oven for a larger family. At £349.99, the NN-DS596B certainly isn’t cheap. But this is such a useful piece of equipment that I feel that it justifies the price tag.
The combination of functions also means that you can do away with your electric steamer, saving space on your counter. I used the NN-DS596B to make these fragrant steamed cod parcels, but I’ve given standard cooking instructions below. It’s a low-fat, delicious recipe for dinner that you can get on the table in well under 20 minutes!
Fragrant Steamed Cod Parcels (Serves 2)
2 x 150g cod fillets (or any other firm white fish)
2.5cm piece of ginger
2 spring onions
1 garlic clove
Pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pouch of microwaveable rice (I used Tilda Coconut rice)
2 spring onions
You will also need baking parchment
Tear off two large pieces of baking parchment and place one piece of cod in the middle of each piece.
Peel the ginger and cut into thin matchsticks. Peel and chop the garlic clove finely, and shred the spring onions (both green and white parts).
Top each piece of fish with the ginger, garlic and spring onions. Sprinkle over a small pinch of chilli flakes if you are using them.
Take three sides of one piece of the baking parchment and scrunch together over the top of the fish. Leave a little space above the fish so that it can steam. Basically you are making a parcel with one side left open. Repeat this with the second piece of baking parchment.
Mix together the white wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl, and pour half into each parcel over the top of the fish and aromatics. Close up the open side of each parcel, scrunching the paper together tightly to make a sealed parcel.
Put in a steamer (or the NN-DS596B) and steam for around 8-10 minutes depending on how thick the fish is. While the fish is steaming, finely slice the spring onions and roughly chop the coriander leaves.
When the fish has finished cooking, leave it to stand for two minutes. During this time, heat up the pouch of rice according to the instructions on the packet. Pour the rice into a bowl and fluff up the grains of rice with a fork. Mix though the spring onions and top with half of the chopped coriander.
You can serve the cod parcels as they are, to be opened at the table. Alternatively remove the fish carefully from the parcel and serve on a plate. Drizzle the sauce from the parcel over the fish and top with the remaining coriander. Some steamed or stir-fried pak choi would be lovely with this, but don’t eat the aromatics from the top of the fish!
The Panasonic Combination Microwave NN-DS596B rel=”nofollow” is available from Panasonic, priced at £349.99