Stir-Fried Beef with Corn

Often in Thailand, beef or chicken is combined with toothsome baby corn. This Thai-inspired recipe with my own touches is easy to make and delectable.

Often this type of sweetcorn is imported from Thailand or grown locally. It has become quite popular and is now easily found in supermarkets. It is easy to cook and, when it is stir-fried in the wok, it has a slightly smoky taste that adds to the enjoyment of this unique vegetable. Although baby corn can be found in tins, it is best fresh.


  • 450 g (1 lb) lean beef steak
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh or tinned baby corn
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoonfive-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour


Cut the beef into thin slices 5 cm (2 in) long and 5 mm (¼ in) thick and put them into a bowl. Add the soy sauce, five-spice powder, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry and cornflour. Leave the mixture to marinate for 20 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan until it is very hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the beef slices and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Remove them and drain them well. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Re-heat the wok over a high heat until it is hot. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the spring onions and baby corn and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Now add the stock and Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until the corn is tender. Then add the oyster sauce and bring it to a simmer. Return the drained beef slices and toss them thoroughly with the sauce. Add the basil leaves and give the mixture several stirs. Turn the mixture on to a warm serving platter and serve at once.