What Is Baby Corn?


Quick Answer

Baby corn, a common ingredient in Asian stir fry dishes, is regular sweet corn that has been picked before it reaches maturity. Because it is still young, the cob is tender and is eaten along with the corn kernels. Ears of baby corn are typically about 4 inches in length when picked.

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Full Answer

Baby corn can be eaten raw or cooked, though in the United States it is more commonly enjoyed cooked. In Thai cuisine, it is commonly referred to as "candle corn." Many different varieties of sweet corn can be used to produce baby corn, but there are some varieties that have been developed specifically for this use. These varieties, which include Him 123, Him 129 and Priya Sweet, yield more ears of corn per stalk than typical sweet corn varieties. Baby corn is usually picked off of the stalks by hand just one or two days after the silks emerge from the corn stalk.

Thailand is a major producer of baby corn. Likely because its harvest is so labor intensive, it is rarely grown in the United States, and is instead imported from other countries. Baby corn does not have an overly sweet taste because it is not left on the stalk long enough for the sugars to develop, but it does have the same general flavor as fully grown sweet corn.

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