Bean sprouts are a very versatile ingredient, used all over the world for their crisp, fresh texture, in a myriad of ways, from soups to salads.
You can even use them raw, but only use them in this way if the label says they are ready to eat, otherwise you could risk getting salmonella.
Bean sprouts also have the benefit of not taking long to cook, added to dishes at the last minute, providing some satisfying crunch to nearly any dish you can think of.
They are also very easy to grow, and contain a multitude of nutritional benefits, including vitamin C, protein, folic acid, and copper.
Bean sprouts will keep in a fridge for about a week, at most. But can you freeze them?
Yes. In the freezer, they’ll stay fresh for nearly a year, provided the temperature stays constant, and that you freeze them correctly.
The longer you freeze them, the less crunch they will have when you come to use them, so bear this in mind.
How Do You Freeze Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts get their crunch from its high water content. Unfortunately, you may already know that anything with a relatively high water content doesn’t freeze well.
Luckily, there’s a solution when it comes to freezing bean sprouts (see also Can You Freeze Brussel Sprouts). You need to blanch them before you put them in the freezer, and this will help them retain at least some of their texture.
How To Blanch Raw Bean Sprouts
Wash the bean sprouts under running water, and dry them. Put a pan of boiling water on the hob, and have a large bowl of ice water ready.
You’ll need to keep the ice bath somewhere close, but not so close as to bring the temperature up. The timing is key here, as you don’t want to thoroughly cook the sprouts.
When the water in the pan is boiling, put the sprouts into a metal colander, and submerge it into the pan. After about 3 minutes, put the bean sprouts straight into the icy water.
This will stop them cooking any further. Let them sit in the ice bath for 3 minutes to leach out any residual heat, and dry them thoroughly.
How To Freeze Bean Sprouts
Grab your freezer bags or otherwise suitable, airtight containers. You can either put the lot of bean (see also ‘Can you Freeze Runner Beans?‘) sprouts into one container, or divide them as you see fit into smaller containers.
Having smaller portions will make thawing faster, and it does mean that you’ll only defrost what you need, when you need it.
When you pack the bean sprouts, make sure to leave some room at the top of the container, and write the date on the outside.
How To Freeze Cooked Bean Sprouts
As long as the bean sprouts have been fully cooked, and you’ve given them time to cool completely, you can transfer them into a container and pop them straight into the freezer.
Make sure you write the date on them before you freeze them, as you may forget when you cooked them!
How Do You Thaw Frozen Bean Sprouts?
The freezer to fridge method is best for thawing bean sprouts.
The good thing about bean sprouts is that they will only take about 2 hours to fully defrost, so you don’t need to plan ahead too much, like you would with other freezable foods.
Make sure to drain any liquid, and use them as normal.
If you want to add the bean sprouts to any cooked dishes, you can do so straight from frozen. Just remember to allocate a couple of minutes extra, so that the dish cooks properly, as the frozen sprouts will bring the temperature down to start with.
Bean sprouts can be used in so many different ways that it only makes sense that you’ll have a surplus at one time or another.
So it helps that you can freeze these versatile veggies with no fuss, and that they take so little time to defrost.
It’s also a good way of adding nutritional value to any dish, and combining how easy they are to freeze with how you can throw the frozen sprouts into cooking dishes means you have no excuse not to use them!