top of page
  • Writer's picturedaniel smith

The Shiatsu Bus Food Energetics series:Smokey sweetcorn tofu fritter,Cauliflower steaks with zahter

This weekend The Shiatsu Bus was treating around Bakewell and had the good fortune to be able to cook up a Spring plate of food in great weather amongst beautiful scenery. It's always a pleasure to cook for people and luckily this week I was joined by some lovely folk who were willing to sample the food. It's a vegetarian recipe this week but is a well balanced, flavoursome and filling meal, perfect for Spring.

This recipe addresses Dampness in the Spleen which can have a detrimental affect on the entire digestive system. It is the strength of the Spleen and the power of the Yang which transform moisture in the body and prevent Dampness from accumulating. Spleen Dampness is addressed by strengthening the Spleen Ki and by strengthening the Spleens action through the use of bitter and aromatic flavours. In this recipe the sweetcorn and spice provide both Spleen-nourishing and Damp resolving/drying actions.

The Tofu nourishes the Blood, Ki and Yin. It cleanses the whole system and roasting the cauliflower is a very warming method of cooking which benefits the Yang. The overall cooling nature of this meal is slightly offset by the onion and zahtah. The lemon, lime and cider vinegar cuts through the oil in the recipe and the frying to counter Stagnation and Dampness. Most of the other ingredients bring warmth and movement to help the digestion and restore harmony to the body.

4 people SERVING SIZE INGREDIENTS 2 large cauliflowers, trimmed and leaves discarded 70g unsalted butter 2 sprigs of sage (6g)

8 strips of finely shaved lemon skin 1½ tbsp Tahini 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped (170g) 1 tbsp cider vinegar 1 tsp honey 3 tbsp zahter, I found it in Sainsburys 20g baby capers, pat dried or if not available good quality olives Hand full of coriander, roughly chopped Salt


1. Preheat the oven to 190C.


Sit the cauliflowers upright on your chopping board and cut two thick slices out of the centre of each cauliflower. You want the four slices – or ‘steaks’ – to remain held together at the base and each be about 4 centimetres thick. You should have about 400 grams of trimmings. Break these into even-sized pieces (if making the mash) and set aside.

  1. Add all of the butter to a large frying pan (or half the butter to two medium frying pans, if your large one is not able to fit in all four steaks) and place on a medium heat with the sage, lemon skin and ¾ teaspoon salt (or half in each pan, if using two). Once the butter starts to foam, add the cauliflower steaks, turning them in the pan so that they get covered in salt and butter on both sides. Fry gently for about 8 minutes, until golden-brown underneath and then flip the steaks over. Fry for another 8 minutes, until nearly cooked, and then transfer to a parchment-lined tray. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through. Keep somewhere warm until ready to serve.

2. To make the mash, fill a medium saucepan with plenty of salted water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the cauliflower trimmings and boil for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is really soft. Drain and then place in a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice, 2 tablespoon of water and a some salt. Blitz to combine, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then keep somewhere warm until ready to serve. Add 1½ tablespoons of oil to a medium frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 8 minutes until soft and caramelised. Add the vinegar and honey, stir through for a minute and then add the zahter, along with a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil to a small saucepan and place on a high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry for about a minute, until the capers have opened out and are crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil and set aside on a kitchen paper-lined plate.

4. When you are ready to serve, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower and tahini mash onto each plate (if you have made it) and spread out into a thin layer, not much larger than the cauliflower steaks. Place the cauliflower steaks on top and then spoon over the onion and zahter (or oregano) salsa. Finish with a sprinkle of the crispy capers, along with the coriander, and serve.

INGREDIENTS 350g silken tofu, broken up into 2cm pieces 200g frozen sweetcorn, defrosted, or freshly shaved corn from the cob ½ tsp Chipotle chilli flakes ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika ¼ tsp ground turmeric About 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves, woody stems discarded and then blitzed in a spice grinder to 1 tsp powder, or else just finely chopped 1 tsp Maple Syrup or Honey

4 tbsp plain or Rice flour Hand full of coriander leaves, roughly chopped 1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (15g) 4 spring onions, finely sliced (30g) 70g French beans, trimmed and finely sliced into small rounds, about 2mm thick 60ml sunflower oil 4 lime wedges, to serve Salt


  1. Place all the ingredients, except for the beans, oil and lime wedges, in a food processor with ¾ teaspoon salt. Blitz roughly so that most (but not all) of the sweetcorn is broken up. Stir in the sliced beans.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add 4 tablespoons of the mixture to make 4 fritters; do this carefully as the oil will spit. Flatten the mixture down so that each fritter is about 6 or 7 centimetres wide and 1½ centimetres thick and then fry for 1-2 minutes until golden-brown on the bottom (this is important: they need to crisp up completely on the bottom for them not to break when you turn them over; add a little extra rice flour if this still happens). Use a spatula to carefully turn the fritters over and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a kitchen paper-lined plate, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and keep somewhere warm whilst you continue with the remaining mix in the same way, topping up the oil with an extra tablespoon for each batch. Serve warm with and the lime wedges alongside.

For more articles on Shiatsu, Oriental Medicine and Food Energetics follow this link:

118 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page