Use of nanoscale architecturing that exhibits superior strength-to-weight ratio has been of recent interest, and here we demonstrate a bulk fabrication of a fully recoverable, ultralight 3D porous composite with high strength composed of Ag nanowire/cellulose nanofiber using a freeze-casting method. A one-step process for highly efficient bulk formation of 3D porous structure via ice crystal formation followed by sublimation was demonstrated that can overcome the cost and scalability associated with lithography methods. 3D porous composite with controlled geometry was fabricated by controlling the nucleation and growth kinetics of ice formation that resulted in highly anisotropic compressive strength and resilience that depends on the wall orientations and composition of composite wall. Strength of the 3D porous composite increased with an increase in the Ag nanowire content as the deformation transitioned from bending dominant toward stretch dominant behavior for the case of vertically aligned walls, and an optimized concentration of Ag nanowires resulted in the compressive strength of 100 kPa at a relative density of 0.96%, which has 1.5 times higher strength when normalized by the material density (2.3 +/- 0.2 MPa.cm(3)/g) in comparison to that of metal microlattice (1.7 MPa.cm(3)/g) fabricated by lithography methods. Horizontally oriented 3D porous structure interestingly showed a fully reversible deformation while also maintaining sufficient conductivity that makes this new material well-suited for a variety of flexible electronics applications. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.