Bean sprouts add a healthy crunch to fresh green salads and Asian stir-fry dishes. Bean sprouts stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for several months. They retain their texture and freshness on ice if you blanch (quickly boil or steam) them first. Blanching stops enzyme action that causes spoilage and preserves the sprouts' flavour and crunch.
Prepare the sprouts for blanching by rinsing them in cold water.
Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a boil, if you will not use a vegetable steamer. Alternately, fill the saucepan with a 1 to 2 inches of water and set the vegetable steamer in the pan. Bring water to a boil.
Add the bean sprouts to the pot of boiling water, and blanch for 4 to 6 minutes. Or, add bean sprouts to steamer in a single layer, add lid to pot, and steam for 3 minutes.
Remove the sprouts from the saucepan with the slotted spoon, and immediately plunge sprouts into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Drain sprouts and pat dry with paper towels.
Place sprouts in freezer bags, seal, and put in the freezer.
Frozen bean sprouts will retain optimum flavour for up to 12 months.