Beansprouts are a healthy addition to meals like stir-frys and salads. They tend to spoil quickly, so is it possible to freeze beansprouts?
Beansprouts can be frozen, but it is not always as simple as just popping them into the freezer and forgetting about them. Beansprouts are very delicate and must be managed with care. There is a process to properly freeze beansprouts. If done properly beansprouts can be stored in the freezer for as long as ten months.
How to Freeze Fresh Bean Sprouts
So, what is the process of freezing bean sprouts so that they can be stored for extended periods?
Step One, Blanch the Bean Sprouts
- Fill a large pot just over halfway with water and bring it to a rolling boil
- While the water is being brought to a rolling boil, gently wash the sprouts in a bowl of cool water, use your fingers to carefully move the sprouts around to get rid of any hidden particles. Be cautious while touching the sprouts, they are very delicate. Strain once thoroughly rinsed. Gently pat dry with a paper towel and set the sprouts aside.
- While The water is being brought to a rolling boil, prepare, and set aside a large bowl of ice water. Keeping the water as cold as possible is key to keeping the bean sprouts crispy after the freezing process is complete. If Ice is unavailable, set the bowl of icy water in the freezer during this process to keep it as cold as possible until it is time to put the bean sprouts in.
- Once the water is at a rolling boil, add in the dried bean sprouts a handful at a time to ensure they cook evenly. Cook for about three minutes. Be careful not to overcook them or they will become a mushy texture.
- Remove the beansprouts with tongs or a slotted skinner and at once transfer into the bowl of ice water. Keep them in the water for 30-40 seconds to at once cool them off so that they do not overcook.
- Transfer at once onto a paper towel in a single layer and gently pat dry. Make sure that they are completely dry before they are placed into the freezer.
Step 2, Pre-freezing the Bean sprouts
- Once the sprouts are completely dry, get out a baking sheet and transfer them from the paper towel onto the sheet in a single layer. Do not overlap. This will make the sprouts easy to separate after the freezing process is complete.
- Place the sheet into the freezer until they start to get hard. This will take between 15-20 minutes. Check at the 15-minute mark and leave in longer if needed. Do not freeze them all the way yet.
Step 3, Freezing the Bean Sprouts
- Once the sprouts begin to harden, remove the tray from the freezer and transfer the sprouts into airtight containers. Freezer bags will work, but freezer bags are not recommended because bean sprouts are very easily damaged. The best choice would be a plastic food storage container.
- Immediately transfer the container into the freezer to ensure that they do not begin to thaw.
Can You Freeze Bean Sprouts Without Blanching?
Yes, you can freeze bean sprouts without blanching them, however, by doing so you will be sacrificing flavor and texture. Without blanching the sprouts, they will continue to ripen, causing them to have an unpleasant soggy texture and more bitter flavor. Blanching bean sprouts before freezing will allow them to keep the desirable crunchy texture for months. Blanching stops the ripening process.
Frozen Bean Sprouts
Now that you have successfully frozen your bean sprouts it is time to enjoy them. If you are going to be cooking the bean sprouts for your dish there is no need to thaw them out. For a stir-fry just toss the frozen sprouts right into the pan. For ramen just toss them right into the hot broth.
If you want to enjoy the bean sprouts cold or at room temperature, you will need to thaw them out in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Longer if needed. Then, simply add the thawed bean sprouts to your desired dish or enjoy them as is.