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Aug 10, 2013 12:13 PM

Baby Corn In Asian Food


How do you feel about the baby corn thingies that are often found in the menu offerings of various Asian restaurants?

Personally, having eaten in a number of Asian restaurants for at least the past 40 years, I have yet to experience a dish I thought was truly enhanced by the addition of baby corn.

Maybe I haven't eaten at the right restaurants, but I have almost always found their presence to be a distraction. They are almost always flavorless, at least to me, and taste as if they came right out of a can.

It's as if they are routinely tossed into a lot of dishes for the sake of diversifying them with a number of ingredients. The result is almost always that of a "hodgepodge" effect. I prefer fewer ingredients which give a dish greater distinction and identity.

There is a Thai restaurant in my area that some people rave about. I have eaten there three times and have sampled three different dishes each time. Baby corn was a part of each of these three dishes. In my opinion, the baby corn subtracted, rather than added to these dishes.

From my experience, the routine inclusion of baby corn in many of an Asian restaurant's entrees has consistently been a sign of mediocrity.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I just don't like baby corn.

Thoughts and opinions?

All The Best,


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  1. Well, there are fresh baby corns, and they do taste a bit better, at least in term of texture (more crispy and less liquid).

    I cannot comment any more beyond about hodgepodge effect. All I can say is that I remember liking fresh baby corns when I was a kid.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I haven't encountered baby corn at any of the Asian restaurants around here. I remember seeing them when I was about five and freaking out because I thought they were "octopus legs"....

      The only place I see them is in nasty canned or frozen Chinese food. I have purchased them at my fiance's request when cooking at home, and they don't add anything pleasant to the mix.

      They are tasteless filler to me. I would likely avoid a restaurant that used them in as many dishes add you have described.

      1. re: Kontxesi

        <I haven't encountered baby corn at any of the Asian restaurants around here>

        I rarely see them too. I think they are very seasonal.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Unless they are coming from a can, as the OP suspects. Yuck.

          1. re: Kontxesi

            We are using fresh baby corn in the restaurant I'm working in right now and it is amazing. You don't even need to cook it if you don't want to. When people see it prepared from scratch they get really excited. Unfortunately when we put it in a dish half the customers leave it on the plate because they expect it to taste like canned baby corn lol. Costs us $0.50 per bite and people toss it. But, just so you know, if it's fresh it's very good!!!

            That being said, when I go to a cheap restaurant and I know it's canned I don't want it in my dish either. Someone please ban canned vegetables in restaurants!

            1. re: la2tokyo

              i'll sign your petition to ban canned vegetables in restaurants.

        2. re: Kontxesi

          Meant to reply to op. Stupid phone. :-)

      2. The baby corn ears are tasteless and I don't like their texture. I, too, have come to associate them with mediocre oriental restaurants. They seem to be canned and serve no purpose, other than as filler.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gfr1111

          I've only ever had them canned and don't care for them either. Pretty sure they're manufactured, not grown ;)

          1. re: gfr1111

            Yup Just 'bulk'>lower food overhead>higher profits>kids go to best universities>get best paying jobs>can afford to go to restaurants that don't serve canned baby corn. ;>))

          2. Hate them, and always pick them out. Just like canned bamboo. Blech.

            1. I dislike it. In fact, if I see them in a dish at an Asian restaurant, I often take it as a sign that the food there is below par and not authentic.

              1. I don’t like canned baby corn either but it is not necessarily a sign of mediocrity. Baby corn is used throughout Asian cuisine, especially in Thailand and China. When doing a culinary tour of Thailand we used it many times in both fresh and canned.

                1 Reply
                1. re: RetiredChef

                  I should probably explain that I have this view even though I was born and raised in Hong Kong. Here at least (I don't know about other parts of China), baby corn is not often used in good quality authentic local cuisine.