Water chestnuts have zero flavor on their own. They're good in stuff like stir fry though, because they take on whatever flavors are going on in the sauce but still stay crunchy to give the dish some texture. But in something like a salad, they're not that great since there's not a lot of sauce or anything for them to absorb.
I personally dislike the baby corn, no matter where it comes from :) But, it's sorta the same thing. It needs a sauce to have flavor.
For your asian salads, try using snap peas, snow peas, and/or carrots. Those are traditional vegetables for asian dishes, but have lots more flavor.
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