Bean sprouts are a staple of Asian cooking. They are mainly used in stir fries, but they can also be used as a topping for salads. You could also use them as the main ingredient of a salad as they are just as delicious cold as hot. Why not throw a few into a soup or stew?
They are versatile, but quite often you will buy a bag of them and have plenty leftover. They can last for up to two weeks in the fridge, but what if you don’t want to use them within this time scale? The answer is simple. Freeze them.
However, it isn’t an easy task to freeze bean sprouts, but they do freeze well and can last for up to ten months in the freezer. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze bean sprouts and how to defrost them.
Freezing Bean Sprouts
Bean sprouts have a crunchy texture and you want to keep this texture and stop them from going mushy when you freeze them. If you follow our instructions, you should achieve this.
1. Wash the bean sprouts
It is important to wash the bean sprouts before you do anything else as you don’t want to freeze them with any dirt or debris on them. Afterwards,, drain them in a colander.
2. Blanch the bean sprouts
If you don’t blanch your bean sprouts, they will probably still be edible, but they won’t be as crunchy or tasty. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you do blanch them even though it is a bit time-consuming.
The first thing to do is to boil a saucepan of water. Put the bean sprouts into a colander and then put the colander into the boiling water for three minutes. Make sure that you have a bowl of cold water next to the saucepan. You will probably want to put a few ice cubes into the bowl to make sure it is extra cold.
As soon as the three minutes are up, put the colander with the bean sprouts into the cold water. This stops the cooking process. Leave the bean sprouts in the cold water for three minutes and then drain them.
3. Freeze the bean sprouts
You are now ready to freeze the bean sprouts. You are best freezing them in freezer bags. Portion out as many as you think you will need for a meal and put them into a freezer bag. They can clump together so you don’t want to freeze more than you need for one sitting otherwise you will have to throw the rest away.
Squeeze out as much air as possible out of the bags. If there is too much air, freezer burn can occur. This means that your bean sprouts will lose taste and texture and may become discolored. It is a good idea to put a label on the bag with the date the bean sprouts were frozen.
You don’t want to keep them in the freezer for longer than they should be. They will probably still be edible, but they will lose flavor.
Tips For Freezing Bean Sprouts
1. Blanch the bean sprouts
If you don’t blanch your bean sprouts, they will probably end up mushy. It is worth the extra effort.
2. Label your bags
This is important so that you know when the bean sprouts were frozen so that you won’t keep them in the freezer for too long.
3. Shake the freezer bags
After the bean sprouts have been in the freezer for about 30 minutes, it is a good idea to shake the bag. This helps to stop them from clumping.
4. Freeze in portion sizes
This is a good idea as if you defrost too much you may waste some.
5. Cook from frozen
Unless you are using the bean sprouts for a salad, you can cook them from frozen. Just throw them into a stir fry or stew. You can do this because bean sprouts are so small in area.
For How Long Can You Freeze Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts last for a long time in the freezer, in fact for up to ten months. We feel sure that you will find uses for them within this time.
Defrosting Bean Sprouts
If you are using your bean sprouts in a salad, you will want to defrost them first. It’s easy. All you have to do is transfer the bean sprouts into a bowl and put it in the fridge. The bean sprouts will be defrosted within a couple of hours and should still have that crunchy texture.
However, if you are using the bean sprouts in a hot dish, you can just throw them in. It won’t take long before they heat up. As you can see, it is easier to defrost bean sprouts than to freeze them, but it’s definitely worth the trouble.
Refreezing Bean Sprouts
Most foods don’t refreeze well, and bean sprouts are no exception. If you do this, you will break down the texture and the bean sprouts won’t end up crunchy. In addition, the time when bacteria can form is when food is being thawed and frozen so the more times you do this, the greater the chance is of food poisoning. If you freeze in meal serving sizes, you should have no need to refreeze your bean sprouts.
Is it a Good Idea to Freeze Bean Sprouts?
It is a good idea as long as you follow our instructions. It is a bit of work as you have to blanch the bean sprouts, but if you want to freeze lots of bean sprouts, it is worth it as you will have bean sprouts for months ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, we’ve told you everything you need to know about freezing bean sprouts, but if you want to know a little more, we have answered a few questions here.
Can I freeze the ingredients for vegetarian stir fry?
Yes, you can. You could add pak choi, red peppers, carrots, green beans, and baby corn to your bean sprouts. Blanch each vegetable separately and then you can mix them together in meal-size portions and put them in freezer bags.
Squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Put the date on so that you know when you put the bags in the freezer. Most vegetables have a long shelf life in the freezer so you should be able to keep the stir fry for up to 10 months.
A tip that we recommend is that you freeze cubes of spices such as ginger and lemon grass. You can then toss them directly into the stir fry.
Can I freeze leftover stir fry?
Yes, you can, but the texture may change, and it might not be as tasty as when first cooked.