Quick and Easy Sweetcorn and Egg

Along with tomatoes and white and sweet potatoes, sweetcorn was brought into China from the New World within the last few centuries. That is only recently, as China measures things. All of these foods quickly became staples in the Chinese diet. Until the 1950s, sweetcorn kernels in China were rather tough so corn was usually boiled. Chinese immigrants arrived in America to find much sweeter, softer corn and it became one of the favourite foods of Chinese-Americans: I love it in all ways, canned, frozen and, best of all, fresh.

On Sundays, when sweetcorn was in season, my mother would make this quick, easy and inexpensive treat, adding a few of her Chinese flavourings to make a wonderful dish.


  • 450 g (1 lb) (about 3 ears) fresh corn on the cob, or 160 g (5½ oz) frozen or canned sweetcorn
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter
  • 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


If you are using fresh corn on the cob, clean it and remove the kernels with a sharp knife or cleaver; you should end up with about 160 g (5½ oz). Set aside. If you are using frozen sweetcorn, place it in a small bowl and let it thaw at room temperature.

Combine the eggs with the sesame oil and salt and set aside.

Heat a wok or frying pan until it is hot, and heat the butter and groundnut oil until the butter has melted. Then toss in the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Stir in the sweetcorn and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Toss in the spring onions, salt and pepper. Finally, reduce the heat to medium, add the eggs and stir to scramble them, continuing to cook for another 2 minutes, or until the eggs have set. Serve at once.