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  • Writer's picturedaniel smith

The Shiatsu Bus Food Energetics: Salmon and Baked sweet potato to strengthen the Kidney

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Smooth, nutty tahini is perfectly paired with za'atar-crusted salmon in this quick

and easy dish based on a recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi .

Kidney Yang Deficiency can manifest symptoms such as an aching lower back, cold and weak knees, weak bladder, oedema in the lower body, impotence in men, and fertility problems in women. Kidney-specific foods are used in this recipe, especially the garlic, salmon, tahini, and pungent warming spices.

The salmon in this dish nourishes the Yin and Blood whilst also mildly warming the Yang. The sweet potato nourishes the Yin and the Ki with a strengthening action on the Spleen and Kidney.

In Oriental Medicine, Kidney Yang deficiency invites the invasion of cold into the system because the Yang function of warming is deficient. Kidney Yang deficiency will lead to Spleen Yang deficiency over time since the Kidneys store our source Ki (sometimes called pre-natal Ki) and it is the Spleen's job to replenish it. Shiatsu can be an effective treatment for Yang deficiency but there must be a gentle approach and care taken not to exhaust the receiver.

Serves 4


*4 salmon fillets, look for a deep red colour such as sockeye (600g), skin on, and pin bones removed

*2 tbsp za'atar

*2 tsp sumac, plus ½ tsp extra for sprinkling

*60mlolive oi

l*250gbaby spinach


*3 garlic cloves, crushed

*3½ tbsp lemon juice

*1½ tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

*salt and black pepper

*4 sweet potatoes

1. Pat dry the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 220°C and pierce the sweet potatoes with a for and bake for 45-60 mins

2. In a small bowl, combine the za’atar and sumac, then sprinkle this all over the top of the salmon to create a crust.

3. Place a large oven-proof sauté pan on medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the spinach and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cookfor2–3 minutes until just wilted. Top with the salmon, skin side down, and drizzle the top of the fish with 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the tahini, garlic, 2½ tablespoons of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, and 100ml of water until smooth and quite runny.

5. When ready, remove the pan from the oven and pour the tahini al

l around the salmon (but not on the fish at all). Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the tahini is bubbling.

6. Spoon over the remaining tablespoon each of lemon juice and oil and top with the coriander and extra sumac. Slit a criss-cross into the baked potato and top with a knob of butter.

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