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Jan 12, 2012 04:15 PM

Canned vegetables (baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, hearts of palm)

Is there a reliable way to get rid of the off-flavors from the can or other packaging when cooking with vegetables?

I have some bamboo, for instance, that was sealed in a plastic package. I poured off the liquid, rinsed the bamboo several times with fresh water, then left the bamboo to soak in salted water for over 24 hours, but it still has an off taste.

How to rescue these vegetables?

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  1. I always buy them on glass, except water chestnuts which seem to be ok when soaked.

    1. I think fresh bamboo shoots are so horrific-tasting that I only buy canned, which draws most of the horrendous electrical-fire-flavor out of them. Love the texture, but the more devoid of flavor they are the better i like them.
      Canned Water chestnuts can be soaked in salted water for several hours, it doesn't eliminate the canned aura but it helps. If you have the opportunity to try fresh water chestnuts, hang on to your hat. They're so good it will blow you away.

      1. By the way, love baby corn. I had it fresh twice- most recently when I grew it. Not one little ear made it into the house. And i love hearts of palm, canned, and am looking forward to trying it fresh one of these days.

        1 Reply
        1. re: EWSflash

          it's really, really hard to find fresh -- but oh man -- it's amazing fresh.

        2. Nina Simonds' Classic Chinese Cuisine directs the cook to plunge canned water chestnuts in boiling water for a few seconds, then refresh in cold water to remove the tinny taste. I imagine if this works it would be just as successful for the other vegetables you mention.

          1 Reply
          1. re: janniecooks

            it really does not work as well for the others, ime.