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Published on April 8th, 2010 | by Sinead Keogh


Competition Closed: A Mug’s Game?

**Competition Closed**

Congrats Lottie and Davin.

Irish Grub In A Mug, a gift book hot off the presses at Gill & MacMillan in the last few weeks, made it’s way into Team Culch’s hands recently. It’s a dinky wee thing that doubles as a fridge magnet with ten recipes for Irish dishes that can be cooked in a mug in the microwave and  in our eyes  it had the word ‘challenge’ written all over it.

Five Culchies have tried out five recipes from the book, so have a read about what they have to say about microwaved mug meals and stick around to enter the competition  if you’re brave enough – we have two copies to give away.

Irish Potato Soup

Just made this soup and it’s quite tasty, especially with a bit of salt and pepper. I’m not used to following recipes, even ones for lazy slobs like this, so I did make a big mess around the kitchen with the blender, chopping the potatoes and measuring the stock. The recipe is cheating slighlty by having ingredients that are pre-cooked like the potatoes, but it’s a common left-over so it is possible that you’d have some lying around. The stock, as well, was slightly awkward in that a stock cube makes 500ml but this only requires 75ml so I ended up using a 1/4 of the stock cube and wasting half of it cause I didn’t have a measuring jug that went low enough to measure 75ml. Otherwise, it is very tasty and way nicer/less MSGy than a cup-a-soup, and only takes a small bit longer to make. I’d definitely make this again.

– Bngr



When I first picked out my receipe choice I thought 3 things, 1. Porridge is nom (to me), 2. this looks easy and 3. daaaamn thats an unattractive photo!

Did reality match? Well, in reverse order;

3. I now have new found respect for mug photographs. Trying to take a photo from the top (using my trusty phone camera of course, no expense is spared in my research) my porridge just ended up looking like some chemical experiment gone wrong.

2. It looked easy. It was easy. Pour. Stir. Ding. Stir. Ding. Done. You may need to be informed at this point that I approach receipes with all the accuracy of a blind dog in an archery contest. So it probably wasn’t exactly 30gms to 200 mil milk, It was my usual “ah that looks grand” I place on all cooking. This sometimes leads to genius but mostly leads to mess and sugary explosions. So easy is good when it comes to my cooking these days.

1. Porridge is nom. But with two teaspoons of Honey to one mug of Porridge? Oh Dear Me NO! Honey over load. It was awful. Truly awful. However, it’s blooming quick, so two minutes later I had a honey free porridge with banana slices and chocolate flakes on top. Yummy. I may have found a new breakie 🙂



Irish Chocolate Cake

First things first, my cookery skills are non existent. However when it comes to microwaving food I know my shit. I lived almost exclusively on microwave dinners during my college days so it was with a fair amount of confidence that I took on the Irish Chocolate Cake.

The recipe is simple, clear and straight forward, bung the ingredients into a cup, stir them up and microwave for 2 1/2 minutes. Sounds easy right? Well somehow I managed to mess it up because what I got was a spongy bland lump in a mug, the majority of which ended up in the bin. I suspect I put in too much oil and not enough cocoa but any hopes of rectifying the situation were literally smashed when I managed to drop my last two eggs.

Not exactly a successful evening but I guess the moral of the story is there really is no such thing as idiot proof.

– johnmfinn


Scrambled Egg

Scrambled Egg is not one of life’s great gastronomic feats, but it is a nice breakfast. The grub in a mug version is simple and easy to do. There is also a little science in the mix.

By mixing the egg in milk you get a smooth consistency and it helps separate the yolk. This helps prevent the exploding egg in a microwave that even a beaten egg can achieve. By mixing the oil with the egg, it helps prevent the egg from sticking to the side of the mug, giving you an easier time to hurriedly eat the egg.

I did wonder why the recipe calls for both butter and oil, well there seems to be a little “gotcha” in the recipe. The oil is for the cooking, while the butter is for the flavour. I think the ingredient should be salted butter. A little salt adds a lot to the flavour of the eggs, but in cooking “butter” usually means “unsalted butter”.

The other gotcha is only cooking the egg for 2 minutes (in 30 second batches with stirring). Simply put it took longer than that for the egg to scramble. This is easier to figure out and fix. After all, scrambled eggs has a distinct look.

The dish is simply scrambled eggs, but it could be more. Soften some onions in oil in the mug before adding the egg mix, add some cheese and cooked vegetables and you have an omelet. Not as easy to eat from the mug, but its still a tasty dish.

Will Knott


Irish Dessert Coffee

This one made for a lovely after dinner digestif for Easter Monday. It mixes ingredients for Irish coffee and Baileys coffee by using both whiskey and baileys in the recipe. It’s potent enough and not terribly sightly in a mug, so I gave my guests a choice, as you can see in the picture. Overall, it’s very simple and effective and is great after a heavy meal. Not one you would necessarily need a written recipe for though!


Taste buds tempted and tickled? Irish Grub in A Mug certainly has a few hits and a few misses up it’s sleeve so if microwave meals are your kind of thing, stick your name in the hat we have two to give away with thanks to the publishers. Just leave us a comment to let us know you want to try your hand at some mug grub!


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About the Author

Sinéad edits books for her real job. She has never met a punctuation mark she didn't like. She likes cheese (both kinds). She is a lip-biter and a knuckle cracker. She has made a list of 50 things to do before she dies - you're not on it. In particular, she looks after movies, comedy gigs and the Event of the Week series for Culch. You can email her if you want, she loves attention. sinead@culch.ie

16 Responses to Competition Closed: A Mug’s Game?

  1. Deirdre Durran says:

    Cool idea

  2. Peter Balfe says:

    Great article!
    Now this is something that I’d like to see more of – an occasional multi-written challenge by the culchies’.

  3. Eoin says:

    Sounds right up my alley – don’t really get all that much use out of my microwave.

  4. sharon says:

    Since doing this lil science experiment I’ve had the porridge a few times.

    I’ve also seen the book in Waterstones. it is Teeny! The fridge magnet idea of it is very smart 🙂

  5. Lottie says:



    **backs out of the blog slowly**

  6. Jenny says:

    It’s a mug that you can make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert in- ingenious!!

  7. daz ryan says:

    Irish Dessert Coffee? a man could get seriously desserted after a few of those boyos…

  8. Tom says:

    The Irish Dessert Coffee looks delicious

  9. Jo says:

    Yum… mmmm lumpy chocolate cake in mug.. count me in 🙂

  10. Efa says:

    I want to try the scrambled eggs! Saves on my washing up!!

  11. emer breen says:

    Ingenious, now why did i never think of that? would love it!!

  12. Joanne says:

    I like the sound of the mug cake 🙂

  13. TML says:

    Cool idea

  14. Aine says:

    Would make life so much easier !

  15. Ronan says:

    I do like egg!

  16. Davin says:

    I have an empty mug waiting for some food….

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