Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Szechuan Baby Corn

Sichuan(or Szechuan) is a style of chinese cuisine that originated in Sichuan province of southwestern China. It is known for its bold and spicy flavors which come from the generous use of garlic, chilli pepper and sichuan pepper (aka chinese or flower pepper). Several different seasonings are used in szechuan cuisine with broad bean chilli paste being one of the staples. Peanuts, sesame paste and ginger are common ingredients in this cuisine. Some of the most popular szechuan dishes are Kung Pao Chicken/Tofu, Mapo Tofu, Dan dan noodles and Bon bon chicken. Szechuan cuisine has been altered over the years to cater to people from different countries and is in a milder form in American chinese cuisine although Indo-chinese version still tends to be on a medium to intense spice level. This recipe is fairly simple and tastes good as an accompaniment for fried rice or noodles.


3 cups fresh cut baby corn (each cut into 3 chunks)
Oil, for frying

For marinade:

2 - 2 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Salt, to taste
1 tsp white or black pepper powder (preferably white pepper powder)
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp dark or light soy sauce

For batter (baby corn coating):

2 tbsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup+  water

For sauce:

4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
2-3 medium onions, diced
2/3 cup spring onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp chilli sauce (or chilli paste - adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato sauce (or tomato ketchup)
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 - 2 tsp black or white pepper powder (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp oil
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water


Rinse the fresh cut baby corn and drain excess water. In a large bowl, add the ginger-garlic paste, pepper powder, salt, vinegar and soy sauce and mix well. 

Add the baby corn and coat well with the marinade. Set aside for 30-45 minutes.

For baby corn fry:

In a small bowl, add the cornstarch and all purpose flour. Mix with water and whisk well to form a medium thin consistency. Keep aside.

In a deep pan, heat oil. Dip the marinated baby corn pieces in the batter and fry the baby corn until golden brown. Drain the excess oil from the baby corn using a paper towel. 

For sauce:

In a deep pan, heat oil, add onions, garlic and green chillies and sauté for few minutes until onions turn slightly brown. Add chilli sauce, tomato sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well and allow the sauce to cook for few minutes. Add the cornstarch and water and whisk until all ingredients blend together. Add vinegar and 1/4 cup spring onions and mix well, adjust seasoning, if required.

Add the fried baby corn to the szechuan sauce and toss until coated well. 

Add the remaining spring onions and mix again.

Serve hot with noodles or fried rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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