3.16.2011

Baby Corn Confusion

Baby corn is such a random vegetable. Or is it a fruit? Or actually...what is it? It's actually is a grain, like regular corn, but nutritionally speaking, grains are a subset of fruits. It's one of those identity crisis tomato-types. If you want to be thoroughly confused about how to distinguish these, check out the mecca for 8th grade research, Wikipedia, where information is abridged into a conveniently brief commercial break segment for our paper-challenged teens:


◦A fruit is the matured ovary of a flower, containing the seed.

◦A vegetable is considered to be edible roots, tubers, stems, leaves, fruits, seeds, flower clusters, and other softer plant parts.

◦ A grain is described the "seedlike fruits of the buckwheat and other plants, and the plants bearing such fruits." So, grain is also a fruit.

◦A nut is "a dry, one-seeded, usually oily fruit." The term nut also refers to any seed or fruit with a hard, brittle covering around an edible kernel, like the peanut, which is really a legume.

◦A legume is defined as "(the) name for any plant of the pulse family; more generally, any vegetable.

◦A pulse is "the common name for Leguminosae or Fabaceae, a large family of herbs, shrubs, and trees, also called the pea, or legume, family. "

Now if you've imagined a mental Venn diagram, classifying everything in it's place, it should resemble something like this:


Some people say it's a fruit, some say vegetable, and while the debate continues, the rest of us just eat it.  Nutritionally, baby corn is very high in folate and is a good source of potassium, riboflavin, B-6, and Vitamin C.  I never cared much for baby corn until I tried this recipe and it's amazing!  It's an asian-inspired side dish that will compliment an asian entree or rice dish.  It's got a kick, so be careful with the chilies!

Crispy Baby Corn
Appetizer
Serves 4
 
1 can baby corn, drained, and patted dry

3-4 Tbsp Flour
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Cayenne
1" ginger, grated
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 scallions, chopped
1-2 green chillies, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp Tomato sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Vegetable oil
salt
Cilantro


1. Mix flour, cornstarch and cayenne in a shallow bowl. Add a little water at a time to make a thick, smooth batter. Add baby corn to batter and coat thoroughly.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet on med-high heat. Add coated baby corns to pan fry until brown and crispy. Set aside.

3. Heat two tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Saute garlic, ginger and chillies for a few minutes. Add bell peppers and cook for 1-2 mins. Add tomato sauce and soy sauce. Add crispy baby corn and coat them evenly in the mixture. Sprinkle with scallions. Ready to serve immediately.

*Not a microwave-friendly dish - you'll lose the crispy-ness of the vegetable...er, I mean the fruit.......You'll lose the crispy-ness.

5 comments:

  1. You know I've never particularly liked baby corn either, but this recipe might just change my mind. LOL at the Venn diagram.

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  2. Thanks, Xiaolu! I just anything can be good fried or panfried! heehee

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  3. Amee, your writing is just really really good!!

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  4. Amee I enjoy all your blogs

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