Baby Corn Salad with Asian Dressing
This baby corn salad is bursting with summery Asian flavours, with griddled baby corn, cabbage, carrots, sugar snaps, and cilantro. They’re all tossed in a delicious dressing and garnished with toasted cashews and green onions just before serving. It’s the perfect light salad for a summer lunch or side dish to share.
What is baby corn?
Baby corn is simply premature corn, and is one of my favourite crunchy veggies. Before corn cobs are allowed to mature and grow, they are harvested as baby corn. The cobs have not yet been fertilised by the flower pollen, so the kernels haven’t been allowed to become large and sweet.
I love baby corn as it’s a perfect balance of lightly sweet and crunchy. It’s a lovely summer ingredient which works well in so many recipes. It’s often enjoyed in stir fries, but for this vegan baby corn salad recipe I thought I’d do something a little different.
Salad doesn’t just have to be lettuce and tomatoes, and this baby corn recipe shows it. It’s a really fresh and crunchy carrot and corn salad, with plenty of raw veggies which are just perfect in the warmer weather.
Why I love baby corn salad
- A perfect light summer lunch, it makes a great vegan side salad too.
- It’s perfectly portable, so great for meal prep.
- It’s full of goodness, with heaps of colourful veggies.
- It needs only a little bit of prep work.
- It’s a great way to use up vegetables from the fridge.
What are the salad components?
On top of this cabbage corn salad is the baby corn, which is charred in a griddle pan. Lightly charring the corn first really brings out its flavour. You could actually BBQ or grill it if you would rather, for a smoky tasting BBQ corn salad.
On the base is just some simple ribboned and shredded veg. This is exactly the kind of recipe I love in summer time, as it needs so little cooking and time in the kitchen.
I’ve paired it with my favourite Asian inspired salad dressing which brings so much flavour to the plate.
It really builds flavour into the baby corn salad, with soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, mirin, ginger and garlic.
What ingredients are needed for baby corn salad?
This Asian corn salad only needs a few simple ingredients:
Baby corn– I would definitely recommend using fresh baby corn, rather than canned. We’ll briefly griddle them with a little bit of sesame oil to really bring out their flavour.
Carrots– A couple of medium sized crunchy carrots are perfect for baby corn salad. I like to ribbon mine using a vegetable peeler, but you could also spiralise or shred them if you would rather.
Cabbage– I like red cabbage for colour and crunch. Shred it using a sharp knife or a mandolin.
Sugar snaps– These are great for a pop of green and fresh sweetness. Leave them whole or slice thinly.
Coriander/cilantro– This is my favourite herb, and I will eat it in abundance. Use plenty for a fresh herby flavour, or if you hate it, look for my alternative suggestions below.
Toasted cashew nuts and green onions– To garnish.
What is the dressing made from?
Light soy sauce– Soy sauce makes a delicious salty and savoury base for Asian style dressings. You can use low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake.
Sesame oil and sesame seeds– These add a toasted, nutty flavour to the vegan salad dressing.
Lime juice– This adds a zesty tartness which cuts through and lifts the flavours in the baby corn salad.
Mirin– Mirin is a sweet rice wine, and a staple in Japanese cooking. You can find this in a lot of grocery stores these days, but if you are struggling, you will definitely find it in any Asian grocery store.
Maple syrup– I’ve only added a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. You can leave this out if you are worried about your sugar intake.
Ginger and garlic paste– Two of my favourite aromatics finish off this dressing nicely. If you would rather, you can microplane grate fresh ginger and garlic instead.
To make this baby corn salad recipe, the only essentials are a sharp knife and something to cook your baby corn in.
I like to use a griddle pan, but the corn also develops a great flavour when cooked on a BBQ or grill. If you have neither of these options, a frying pan does the trick.
To thinly slice the cabbage, I love to use a mandolin as it really speeds up the task. It’s also really easy to ribbon carrots using a peeler. However neither of these are essential and a sharp knife will be up to the task!
How to make baby corn salad
This recipe has only a few simple steps, and is on the table in less than 15 minutes.
To start, heat ½ tbsp sesame oil in the griddle pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the corn and cook until they are charred on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar or container with a lid, then shake well until they are combined. Alternatively, put them into a small bowl and whisk together.
Serve up the ribboned and shredded vegetables, topped with the baby corn and vegan dressing. Garnish with cilantro/coriander and toasted cashews.
- Serve this Asian baby corn salad for a light and healthy lunch, perfect for warmer days.
- You can also serve it as a side salad or with your favourite plant based protein on top- I love grilled tofu or tempeh, edamame beans, or mock chicken shreds.
- Bulk it up by adding some complex carbohydrates. Brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato or whole wheat noodles would go great with this cabbage and corn salad.
- You could also toss it all together in a large mixing bowl and serve it as a sharing salad.
My top tips for the best tasting salad
As with all raw veggie salads, I would recommend getting the freshest produce you can find. Look for vegetables which have been grown locally (farmers markets are great for this). If you are buying your vegetables from a store, look for those which are firm to the touch and vibrant in colour.
These will be the most delicious raw, and full of flavour. Use plenty of fresh herbs in your baby corn salad too, as these will add a lovely burst of flavour.
If you have your grill/bbq on the go, definitely get the corn on there whilst you’re at it. It gives it a really delicious smoky flavour which is unbeatable.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
- You can change or alter quantities of raw veggies to your taste. Try something like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, red onion, broccoli or bell pepper, which add a lovely crunch and colour. The cabbage can be swapped for green cabbage or napa cabbage. For something simpler, make a lettuce and baby corn salad.
- Add crumbled tofu, edamame beans or chickpeas for a hit of protein.
- To make it spicy, add chopped fresh chilli to the dressing.
- For sweetness, add pomegranate seeds, apple or pineapple.
- Swap out the toasted cashews for almonds, pecans, peanuts, or seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Swap out the cilantro for plenty of fresh mint or parsley, if it isn’t to your taste.
- Make this baby corn salad gluten free by swapping out the soy sauce for tamari.
- You could swap the baby corn for corn kernels. For a BBQ corn salad, grill your fresh corn cobs and then slice off the kernels. If you’re looking for ease, you could use frozen corn or canned sweet corn.
This salad can be made in advance and kept for up to four days in airtight containers in the fridge. Don’t pour the vegan salad dressing over at this point as it will make everything go soggy. Instead, store it in a jar or small individual jars, and pour it over the Asian corn salad when you’re ready to eat.
Although the chopped vegetables will keep ok in an airtight container in the fridge, the cut edges can begin to go dry or discolour after a day or two. To keep the raw veggies fresher, cover them in fresh, cool water before storing. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to the water.
When you’re ready to eat your baby corn salad, drain the water off the vegetables and pat them dry with a clean towel. Top with the griddled corn, dressing and garnish.
Looking for some more healthy salad recipes?
You might like these…
- Creamy mushroom salad with cashew dressing
- Vegan rice salad with pecans and apple
- For a summery pasta salad, this vegan pesto orzo salad
- Tofu katsu salad
- Miso edamame and cauliflower salad
Baby Corn Salad with Asian Dressing
- Griddle pan, frying pan, grill or BBQ
- Mandolin optional
- Vegetable peeler optional
For the salad
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 250 g baby corn
- 2 medium carrots ribboned
- ¼ red cabbage shredded
- Handful sugar snaps/snow peas halved along the length
- 30 g cilantro/coriander leaves whole, stalks chopped
- 4 spring onions thinly sliced
- 35 g toasted cashews
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp ginger paste or microplane grated
- 1 tsp garlic paste or microplane grated
- Heat the sesame oil in the griddle pan over a high heat. Once hot, add the corn and cook until they are charred on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a jar or container with a lid, then shake well until they are combined. Alternatively, put them into a small bowl and whisk together.
- Serve up the ribboned and shredded vegetables, topped with the corn and vegan dressing. Garnish with cilantro/coriander, spring onion, and toasted cashews.
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