It’s likely that you’ve come across baby corn in a can at your local grocery store, or perhaps you’ve even enjoyed some mini cobs as part of your favorite meal. However, what exactly is baby corn and where does it come from?
According to Jareeporn Kumruk, a large seed vegetable product development specialist for Syngenta Seeds, baby corn is essentially the young form of corn that farmers harvest when the silks of the emerging corn are around 2 to 3 inches in length.
Unlike mature corn, baby corn can be consumed in its entirety, including the cob. This versatile ingredient with a mild flavor is commonly used in Thai cuisine and stir-fries, but it can also be used in almost any style of cooking.
What is baby corn?
Baby corn is a vegetable that comes from corn, also known as maize, and is harvested when the stalks are still small and immature. Unlike mature corn, baby corn is eaten whole, including the cob, which is too tough for human consumption in mature corn. It can be consumed in raw, pickled, and cooked forms, and is a common ingredient in stir-fry dishes.
Baby corn is milder in taste than full-grown corn and has a pleasing crunch. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, soups, and stir-fries. Baby corn is grown from specialty corn varieties that are bred to produce a long, slender shape with a creamy yellow color. Thailand is the largest exporter of baby corn, and it can be found canned or frozen in grocery stores.
Baby corn is a nutritious vegetable that offers several health benefits. A 1/2 cup serving of baby corn contains only 5 grams of carbs, compared to 13.5 grams in a 1/2 cup of regular corn kernels. Additionally, it contains 3 grams of fiber, which can lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. B-corn is also low in calories, with only 26 calories in 100 grams of the vegetable, making it a good choice for weight loss.
Moreover, baby corn is a rich source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. It also contains several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Vitamin C is important for the immune system, while vitamin A supports eye health. Potassium can help regulate blood pressure and prevent heart disease, and folate is essential for healthy fetal development during pregnancy.
However, like all cereal grains, whole-grain corn contains phytic acid, which can impair the absorption of dietary minerals such as iron and zinc from the same meal. While this is generally not a problem for people who follow a well-balanced diet, it may be a serious concern in developing countries where cereal grains and legumes are dietary staples. Some cereal grains and legumes are also susceptible to contamination by fungi, which can produce various toxins known as mycotoxins that are considered a significant health concern. The main classes of mycotoxins in corn are fumonisins, aflatoxins, and trichothecenes, with fumonisins being particularly noteworthy.
How to Cook Baby Corn?
Baby corn can be cooked in different ways to suit your preference. Here are some popular methods:
To stir-fry baby corn, cut it into thin slices or small pieces. Heat some oil in a pan or wok over high heat, add the sliced corn, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. You can add other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, or vegetables of your choice, and season with salt, pepper, or soy sauce according to your preference.
Boiling is a simple and quick method to cook baby corn. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the corn, and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water and season with salt or butter.
Grilling baby corn can give it a smoky flavor and a crunchy texture. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, brush the corn with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the corn for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Baby Corn Recipes
- Baby Corn and Mushroom Stir-Fry
- Baby Corn and Peas Pulao
- Baby Corn Kebabs
- Baby Corn Pepper Fry
- Baby Corn Soup
Baby Corn and Mushroom Stir-Fry
- Cooking oil 2 tbsp
- Garlic 3 cloves, minced
- Onion 1, diced
- Baby corn ears 8, sliced
- Fresh mushrooms 2/3 pound, sliced
- Fish sauce 1 tbsp
- Light soy sauce 1 tbsp
- Oyster sauce 1 tbsp
- Cornstarch 2 tsp
- Water 3 tbsp
- Red chile pepper 1, sliced
- Chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup
- To make a flavorful baby corn and mushroom stir-fry, start by heating oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add garlic and cook until browned, usually about 5 to 7 minutes. Then, add onions and corn, and continue to cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions become translucent. After that, add the mushrooms to the mixture and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they slightly soften. Finally, pour in fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce, and stir until everything is incorporated.
- To thicken the sauce for your corn and mushroom stir-fry, whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Once the mixture is smooth, pour it into the mushroom mixture and stir until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the desired consistency is achieved, transfer the stir-fry to a serving dish, and garnish with chili pepper and cilantro before serving.
Baby Corn and Peas Pulao
- Basmati Rice 1 cup
- Frozen Green Peas 1/3 cup
- Baby Corns 7-8
- Medium-sized Onion 1
- Ginger and Garlic Paste 1 tsp
- Green Chilies 2
- Oil or Ghee 1 tbsp
- Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
- Cloves 3
- Cinnamon Stick 1-inch piece
- Salt to taste
- To prepare your basmati rice, start by washing it thoroughly and soaking it in water for 15 minutes. While the rice is soaking, chop the onion and green chilies lengthwise.
- Heat oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks and fry until they start to splutter, giving off a fragrant aroma.
- Then add onions and green chilies to the pan and fry until the onions become a light pink color. Then, add ginger and garlic paste and continue frying until their raw smell dissipates.
- Next, add green peas and corn to the pan and cook them over medium heat until they become tender. Stir the ingredients frequently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Now, it’s time to remove any excess water from the rice. Simply drain the rice using a strainer or colander.
- Next, add the drained rice to the pan and sauté it for about a minute.
- Next, add two cups of water and salt to the mixture and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil and ensure that the salt is evenly distributed.
- After the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.
- After the water has been completely absorbed, turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand for 7 to 8 minutes while keeping the lid on. Once the time has passed, remove the lid and use a fork to fluff the rice. This will separate the grains and give the rice a light and fluffy texture.
- Once the corns and peas pulao is cooked, transfer it to a serving plate and pair it with some delicious chicken or mixed vegetable coconut curry for a complete and satisfying meal.
Baby Corn Kebabs
- 100g baby corn
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 50g refined flour
- 7 7-8 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
- Salt as needed
- Oil for frying
- To prepare kebabs, start by boiling the corn in salted water and setting it aside.
- Then, prepare a batter by mixing refined flour, water, salt, and chili powder.
- Next, take the corn in a bowl and mix it with salt, lemon juice, and chili powder.
- Spread fresh bread crumbs on a plate and roll the corn in the batter and then in the bread crumbs.
- Set the kebabs aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the kebabs until golden brown on medium heat. Serve the kebabs with mint chutney or tomato ketchup. Enjoy!
- Baby Corns 10-12
- Red bell pepper 1 medium size, diced
- Yellow bell pepper 1 medium size, diced
- Green bell pepper 1 medium size, diced
- Onion roughly chopped 1 large size
- Garlic cloves 3-4, minced
- Soy sauce 1 tsp
- Vinegar 1 tsp
- Cornflour 2 tsp
- Freshly crushed black pepper 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil 2 tbsp
Begin by washing the corn. In a saucepan, heat 2-3 cups of water with salt. Once the water boils, add the baby corn and cover. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
While the corn is cooking, chop the bell peppers and onion.
Once the corn is cooked, chop it diagonally into bite-sized pieces.
In a bowl, place the corn pieces and dust corn flour over them. Season with black pepper and salt. Toss well to coat the baby corn evenly.
Deep fry or air fry the corn until crisp and golden brown from both sides. You can also brush the corn with a little oil and cook them in a slim fry option in a convection microwave oven.
In a pan, heat oil on medium flame. Add minced garlic and saute until the raw smell goes off. Now add chopped onion and saute on high flame. Add the colored bell peppers and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the crisp corn to the bell peppers and toss well. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes followed by the addition of vinegar, soy sauce, and salt.
Lastly, add freshly crushed black pepper and stir fry for a minute or so and put off the flame.
Baby Corn Soup
- Baby corn 1 cup- slit in two
- Water 4 cups
- Chopped ginger 1 tsp
- Chopped garlic 1 tsp
- Chopped green chilies 1 tsp
- Chopped coriander 1 tbsp
- Chopped cabbage 2 tbsp
- Capsicum finely chopped 2 tbsp
- Mushrooms 2 Tbsp
- Black pepper 1 ts
- Soya sauce 1 tsp
- Corn flour 4 tbsp
- Oil 3 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Heat some oil in a wok or large skillet and stir-fry the ginger, green chilies, coriander leaves, and garlic for around 2 minutes.
- Next, add the corn and other vegetables (except for the cabbage), along with some salt and pepper, and continue stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in water, soya sauce, and additional salt, then bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and add a mixture of cornflour and water while stirring constantly until it thickens slightly.
- Finally, add the cabbage, give it a quick stir, then take the soup off the heat and serve immediately.
Yes, baby corn is healthy as it is a good source of fiber and nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. It also has fewer carbohydrates than regular corn.
You can eat baby corn raw in salads or as part of a vegetable platter after washing it thoroughly. If you have peeled the husk, make sure to store the raw corn in the fridge and consume it within the week.
Yes, baby corn is different from regular corn. The farmers harvest baby corn early while the stalks are still small and immature, and they typically eat it whole, including the cob. It has a mild flavor with a crunchy texture, and people often use it in soup, salads, stir-fries, and curries.