If you can store cooked meals in the freezer to prolong their shelf life. Why can’t you do the same for freezing asparagus? Asparagus is one of the most nutritious vegetables ever. And freezing it won’t alter its flavor, nutrient value, or texture.
This means that after freezing asparagus, you can just as easily thaw it and use it for grilling, roasting, steaming, or boiling. It’s okay to season thawed asparagus and cook with other ingredients like chicken, beef, seafood, and other veggies.
So if you’re wondering how to freeze asparagus and what you can do to retain its crispiness after removing it from the freezer, read the following information carefully.
How to Freeze Asparagus?
Yes, you can freeze asparagus. This is a foolproof method of freezing asparagus easily without it spoiling or catching too much moisture.
Don’t Keep It Dirty
Unwashed asparagus in the freezer is a horrible idea! Get rid of the dirt particles by putting the asparagus in a colander under running tap water. You can even use a large pot and dump the asparagus and using your hands, swish the asparagus around to get rid of stubborn dirt.
There is often sand embedded in the spears so swishing it around in a pool of clean water should do the trick nicely.
Separate the Spears
Asparagus comes in multiple sizes from small to medium to large. These refer to the size of the spears so it’s necessary to cut the asparagus in uniform sizes.
If the asparagus has half-an-inch or longer spears, they are large in size. Cut the entire asparagus into 1 to 2 inches, separating the spears from the rest of the asparagus. Store the spears whole.
Don’t Store Them Raw
Another mistake people have made and I have also fallen for is storing asparagus raw. Always boil the asparagus (including the spears) quickly after cutting them. Do not boil for longer than 5 minutes. Excessive boiling will lead to squishy asparagus which don’t store properly and for a longer time.
Instead of adding asparagus in water and then placing it on a stovetop for boiling. Put the asparagus in a pot of boiling water. Allow the asparagus to boiling for 3-5 minutes. Then transfer the boiled asparagus to a bowl of ice-cold water and let it sit for another 3-5 minutes.
Depending on the size of the asparagus, you can keep it to boil and blank from 3 to 5 minutes. The longer the size of the asparagus, the longer time it takes to boil and blanch.
Drain the asparagus after blanching and follow the next step carefully.
Don’t Use Plain Plastic Wrap or Foil
Baking sheets are the best way to store asparagus in the freezer. Take a large airtight container and line it using baking sheets. Arrange the asparagus on the sheet without stacking too many on top of each other.
If you want, tape or stick tissue paper to the inside of the lid. The tissue paper will absorb all the excess moisture until the asparagus has completely frozen.
Only open the container when you’re going to use up the asparagus. The last thing you want is moisture or air to enter the container and ruin the asparagus.
Asparagus doesn’t need to defrost at room temperature or in an oven. You can simply remove it from the freezer and use it directly in your recipes. No matter what you’re cooking asparagus for. The water that the asparagus releases while proving useful in cooking because it helps caramelize the vegetable.
This begs the next question…
5 Ways to Cook Asparagus for the Best Results
I promise you that you’ll never get tired of cooking asparagus after this. Especially since you can cook them in more than 5 ways! And the best part is that they only take minutes to cook all the way through.
Starting with the easiest technique to cook asparagus at home…
Take a large pot and bring it to a boil. Add some salt according to your taste preference followed by the asparagus after it’s been cleaned and cut. Once the asparagus turns bright green, transfer it to ice-cold water to preserve its crisp texture and fresh flavor.
Follow the same steps as above, take a steamer pot and let the water come to a boil. Once it does, add some salt to the water and place the steamer basket on top. Arrange the asparagus neatly on the steamer basket. Do not overcrowd the basket. Wait till the asparagus turns bright green (in about 3 minutes or so). Then blanch it in ice-cold water.
I personally love roasted asparagus because it comes out perfectly browned and caramelized. I can cook whole asparagus sticks without separating the spears. Some salt and pepper seasoning and slide them into a baking oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees C.
In about 5 minutes, turn the asparagus so that the bottom side gets evenly cooked and roasted. Remove the baking pan from the oven and serve immediately!
I prefer sauteed asparagus with fried rice or noodles. Cut the asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces after washing. Add some butter or olive oil to a hot pan and let the asparagus sautee on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. If not a pan, you can also use a wok for noodles.
Follow the same steps as roasting asparagus by setting your oven to the broiling setting. Season the asparagus with salt, pepper, some herbs, and butter/oil. And set the timer for 8 to 10 minutes, stopping halfway to flip the asparagus so that it cooks evenly.
Did you know you can freeze asparagus for more than a year?! You have no idea how much time that saves me in grocery shopping. And if you cook in large batches, you will feel the same way too!
Preserving your veggies and storing them should be every home cook’s priority. It not only saves time and effort but buying veggies in bulk is more affordable than buying packaged veggies that don’t last as long.