Kung Pao Corn (Corn in tomato sauce)

Chinese food has always been a mystery to me and the few times I have eaten at a Chinese restaurant, I have not really enjoyed it as most of the Chinese restaurants in UK also serve non veg Chinese food and I can never taste or smell my meal.  Whilst in Bangalore, a friend had taken me to a Chinese restaurant which was vegetarian and I really enjoyed all the dishes.

My son introduced me to Vegetarian Chinese Recipe book written by Nita Mehta and I really liked a lot of her recipes.   I tried this Kung Pao Corn soup recipe from her book and we really enjoyed it.  The soup was quick to make and  perfect snack on a winter’s day.  I changed some of the ingredients very slightly from the ones  suggested in the recipe either because I didn’t have them or because I do not like them. I had to also adjust the  ingredients measurements as the recipes used  Indian cups (200ml) measurements and I used the American cup measurements (240 mls).  I adjusted the  ingredients  to suit my palate.IMG_2104



  • 2 Cups tinned Sweetcorn (I used Green Giant tinned sweetcorn)
  • 3 tbls sunflower oil
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1 onion (chopped finely)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (minced using a garlic press)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 cup passata
  • 1 tbls soya sauce
  • 1 tbls tomato ketchup (Nita’s recipe asks for chili sauce which I didn’t have so I used ketch up and chili flakes)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 2 tbls brown sugar (I used jaggery)
  • ½ tsp salt

For thickening the sauce:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 heaped tsps cornflour
  • 1 tbls bouillon powder ( Nita’s recipe asks for Maggi’s seasoning cube which I didn’t have)

To garnish:

  • 1 green pepper and one green chili cut in slices
  • handful of fried cashew nuts



1. Mix the ingredients for the sauce thickner (water, cornflour and bouillon) and keep them ready in a jug.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and quickly stir fry the cashews and remove them on a kitchen paper.


3. In the same oil, add the 3 dry red chilies and cook them for a minute.

4. Add the Onions, ginger and garlic to the oil and cook until the onions are soft.

5. Add the passata, soy sauce, ketchup, chili flakes, salt, lemon and sugar (or jaggery) to the onions and cook until the passata bubbles.

6. Add the sweetcorn and stir.P1190345

7. Add the mixed sauce thickener and allow to cook on a medium heat. Keep stirring to avoid it sticking to the saucepan bottom.

8. Garnish it with the sliced peppers, chilies and fried cashews & serve the kung pau corn soup hot with garlic bread.


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