They have yellowish-green leaves with bluish edges, and are somewhat yellow at the heart, when grown in light. When grown in the dark, they are yellow.
They taste like corn, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
They are cultivated indoors in trays, either in or without soil or compost. You can also use Vermiculite or a coconut mat, etc.
You can grow Corn Shoots even from pop-corn kernels. Some feel that Corn Shoots grown from pop-corn have a slight liquorice taste to them.
Soak the kernels for 8 to 14 hours. After soaking, rinse with cool water, drain thoroughly. Place in sprouter or on plate out of direct sunlight. Rinse and drain every half day for as long as you continue to allow them to grow at this initial sprouting stage. They will start sprouting in 1 ½ days. When you start to see tips of roots growing out, they are reading for planting. Lay seeds out on planting medium; don’t worry if some touch or overlap. Cover with a solid cover with a few holes in it to allow air circulation. Water as needed to keep growing medium (just) moist. After 3 to 4 days, the shoots should be about an inch (2.5 cm) tall. After this, grow without the cover. Some people advise direct sunlight; others advise a small light overhead. Still others prefer no light at all, even at this stage. When they are 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) tall, do the final watering carefully so that only the growing medium is moistened and the shoots themselves stay dry. After 12 hours, harvest by cutting them just above the surface of your growing medium. Put in plastic bag or sealed container (the shoots keep best if they aren’t wet) and refrigerate.
You may be able to get a second crop out of some batches, though it won’t be as tender as the first crop.
Corn Shoots can be used in salads, stir fries, etc.
1 pound (450g) of seed will produce about 1 pound (450g) of Corn Shoots.
Corn Shoots started to become popular during the 1990s “microgreens” food trends in California.
Cobb, Bruce. Golden Sweet Pea Tendrils and Corn Shoots. Retrieved August 2012 from http://arcgreenhouses.com/news/news-letter-archives/golden-sweet-pea-tendrils-and-corn-shoots
Palmer, Tamara. Growing Popcorn Shoots. SF Weekly Blogs. 13 October 2010. Retrieved August 2012 from http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/10/making_popcorn_shoots.php
Sproutpeople.org. Corn Sprouts page. Retrieved August 2012 from http://sproutpeople.org/popcorn.html
Zeldes, Leah A. Eat this! Popcorn shoots, the new mellow yellow. Dining Chicago web site. Retrieved August 2012 from http://www.diningchicago.com/blog/2010/08/11/eat-this-popcorn-shoots-the-new-mellow-yellow/