Crunchy, crispy, and wonderfully flavorful Chilli baby corn is a delicious vegetarian snack or appetizer, everyone will love. Fried pieces of baby corn are combined with a spicy, sweet, umami sauce for a bright and bold dish you’ll want to make again and again! Follow our easy steps with photos and video to make this classic fried chilli baby corn recipe tonight.
Fried chilli baby corn is a common Indo Chinese fusion side and snack. It features sweet and tender pieces of baby corn, battered and fried to crispy perfection. The corn is then tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce for a delightfully flavorful, crunchy, and saucy veggie dish.
The sauce for this recipe is so good. You’ll seriously want to eat this bold, sweet and spicy chilli baby corn with nearly everything!
The texture and taste of this chilli baby corn is similar to a Tso’s tofu you might find in some Chinese restaurant menu. This is one more vegan and vegetarian friendly snack, with an even spicier and bright flavor, like this Chilli Mushroom recipe.
Below you’ll find my step-by-step photos and instructions for preparing the best chilli baby corn from scratch. I shallow fry the corn here; however, you are welcome to deep fry the battered corn pieces if you prefer.
How to make Chilli Baby Corn
1. First, rinse the 18 to 20 baby corn or 200 grams (about 1 cup) in water. Then drain and pat them dry. If they are long pieces of baby corn, cut them in half.
2. I recommend that you next prepare all of the ingredients for making the fried chilli baby corn sauce:
- Finely chop 5 to 6 medium sized garlic cloves
- Peel and chop 1.5 inches of ginger
- Seed and thinly slice 1 small capsicum (green bell pepper)
- Slice or slit 2 to 3 green chillies
- Chop ½ cup of spring onion whites (scallion whites)
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour, 4 tablespoons of cornstarch (cornflour), ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, ¼ to ⅓ teaspoon of salt or add as per taste, and 4 tablespoons of water.
4. Mix well to form a smooth, medium-thick batter.
Batter Coating and Frying Baby Corn
5. Now add 6 tablespoons of frying oil in a wok or deep, large pan over medium heat. Work one at a time to dip each baby corn piece into the batter to thoroughly coat.
Slide the batter-coated baby corn around the edges of the bowl so that excess batter drips back into the bowl.
6. Gently place the batter-coated baby corn pieces in the hot oil. Be careful during this step as the oil can splatter.
Note that in the video I have pan fried the baby corn in less oil. You can either pan fry, shallow fry or deep fry.
7. Use a slotted fry spoon to gently turn the pieces over when they become golden.
8. Continue to turn back and forth as needed, until the baby corn pieces are brown on all sides.
9. Remove with the slotted spoon, allowing the excess oil to drain.
10. Set the fried corn on kitchen paper towels. Repeat the frying process with the remaining baby corn pieces.
Stir Frying Aromatics
11. You can use the same oil from frying the baby corn to now fry the aromatics. With a spoon remove extra oil from the pan keeping only 1 tablespoon oil inside the pan.
Or, if you prefer, pour in 1 new tablespoon of oil in a new pan. Set the stovetop temperature to medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, green chiles, and the white parts of the sliced spring green onion.
12. Increase the heat to medium-high, and stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
13. Now add the sliced capsicum (green bell pepper). If you don’t like or have capsicum, feel free to skip.
14. Mix and continue to stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high heat, until the capsicum is half cooked but still crunchy.
Adding Sauces & Seasonings
15. Now reduce the heat back to medium and add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of either sweet green chili sauce or sweet red chilli sauce. You can add more chilli sauce for a spicier version.
16. Mix well.
17. Taste, and then add ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, ½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar (more or less to taste), and salt as needed.
18. Mix again.
Making Chilli Baby Corn
19. Now add the fried baby corn to the pan.
20. Gently mix together, being careful to not scrape the batter from the fried baby corn.
Note that you could stop here if you prefer a highly crispy and crunchy baby corn texture. But if you want a smooth glazed sauce coating on the baby corn then proceed to the following steps.
21. Now add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and mix again.
22. Then sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of cornstarch (cornflour). This gives a lovely, smooth glaze to the dish – just like at your favorite Indo Chinese restaurants.
23. Mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the cornstarch (cornflour) has cooked and is no longer visible.
24. Mix in ½ a teaspoon of rice vinegar for a slightly tangy flavor that brings the whole chilli baby corn recipe together. You can also use apple cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar. If you are not a fan of the tangy vinegar taste then skip it.
25. Lastly, add the sliced green onion tops, and stir again.
26. Serve hot as an appetizer or a side with your favorite Chinese main dishes. You can eat chilli baby corn as it is or with a spicy dipping sauce like chilli-garlic sauce, schezwan sauce, sriracha sauce and even a plain simple tomato ketchup.
Garnish with an extra sprinkle of the sliced green onions.
Few more snacks recipes for you!
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Chilli baby corn recipe is a delicious vegetarian, vegan snack or starter recipe of crispy fried baby corn in a spicy, sweet, umami sauce for a bright and bold dish that everyone will love.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Rinse and dry the baby corn with kitchen towel. Chop the baby corn in halves if they are larger in size or keep them whole if they are smaller.
Prep the spring onions, garlic, green chillies, ginger, capsicum and set aside.
Make a smooth and medium thick batter with the cornstarch (cornflour), all purpose flour, salt, pepper and water.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan.
Dip each baby corn piece in the batter and coat it well with the batter.
Gently place the batter coated baby corn pieces in the hot oil.
When one side firms up and is crispy, light golden, turn over and fry the second side.
Fry the baby corn till the edges and sides are golden brown turning over a couple of times with a slotted spoon
Place the fried baby corn on kitchen paper towels.
In another pan or frying pan or wok, heat about 1 tablespoon oil. Or you could use the same pan that was used for frying the baby corn – keeping 1 tablespoon oil in it, remove the remaining oil with a spoon.
Add chopped spring onions, ginger, garlic and slit green chilies.
Stir fry on a medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
Now add the sliced capsicum (green bell pepper). If you do not have capsicum, you can skip it
Stir-fry on medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until the capsicum is half cooked. It should have some crunch.
Lower the heat to medium and add the soy sauce, sweet green chilli sauce or sweet red chilli sauce. Mix well.
Now sprinkle black pepper powder, salt and sugar. Mix again.
Making Chilli Baby Corn
Add the fried baby corn. Gently mix with the rest of the ingredients. You could stop here if you prefer a highly crispy and crunchy baby corn texture. But if you want a smooth glazed sauce coating on the baby corn then proceed to the following steps.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and mix again.
To give a glaze and smoothness in the dish, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch (cornflour).
Mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or more till the cornstarch has cooked.
Add the apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar and stir again.
Lastly add the chopped green springs greens and give a mix.
Check the taste and add salt, pepper or soy sauce if required.
Serve the baby corn garnished with some spring onion greens or chopped celery.
You can serve chilli baby corn as a starter snack or with bread or as a side with stir fried noodles or fried rice.
- In the video I have pan fried the baby corn in less oil to make the dish healthy. However you can choose to either pan fry, shallow fry or deep fry.
- The recipe can be scaled to make a big batch.
- You can easily swap rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar or skip adding vinegar altogether if you don’t like it.
- In place of spring onions you can use regular onions like red onion, white onions or shallots.
- You can alter the spicing according to your taste by altering the amount of green chillies, ginger, garlic and the chilli sauce.
- I suggest serving this dish as soon as it’s made for the best taste and flavor.
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This Chilli Baby Corn recipe post from the archives (May 2013) has been republished and updated on 2 June 2021.