How to Blanch Asparagus

Blanching asparagus will preserve the crispness and enhance the color of the asparagus and remove some of the stronger flavors (tannins), making it ideal for stir-frying. Blanching is a very simple cooking technique of boiling a food for a short time and then submerging it in ice water (also known as “shocking”), abruptly ending the cooking process. When used in conjunction with other food safety techniques blanching is effective at killing bacteria on your food, making it a good first step to storing fresh vegetables in your freezer.

For this very simple cooking process all you will need is:

Asparagus, a pot of boiling water with a little bit of salt, a way to remove the asparagus quickly from the boiling water (such as a strainer, tongs or a slotted spoon) and a bowl of ice water

The cooking of it is just as simple as preparing the ice water. All you do is:

Prepare the asparagus by cleaning it and chopping it into the shapes you would like it in for your end product. (You can blanch it whole, but note that it’s much easier to chop it now than after being softened by boiling). Place the asparagus in a pot of boiling water and watch for the color of the asparagus to change, remove from the heat and strain at the peak of its color when it turns a vibrant green. This should take about 30 seconds. Note: Careful not to put in too much asparagus at a time or it might cause the water to lose its boil, about a handful is perfect. Just repeat the process as needed. Promptly “shock” the asparagus by placing it in a bowl of ice water, thus ending the cooking process. Remove from the ice bath when the asparagus is no longer warm.

This can also be done with a microwave by placing a couple tablespoons of water with a handful of asparagus in a bowl on high for 2 minutes. Then “shocking” as you would normally.

If done correctly the asparagus will be delicious and crunchy and ready to be tossed in a stir-fry or reheated using any other cooking method. Or simply enjoy them chilled right out of the ice bath, as part of a vegetable plate with some ranch dressing.

If being stored in your freezer pack in freezer bags leaving no air, the asparagus should keep for about 6 months in the freezer.

Comments are closed.