Yin Deficiency Fish Recipes

Fish often make good base for yin deficiency recipes
Photo by acupuncture-points.org

Yin Deficiency Fish Recipes listed here aim to help you if you have a Yin deficiency – to understand more about Yin Deficiency, click the picture on the right to get to the Kindle book on it.


  • To read food classifications, see appendix 1 of my book ‘Yin Deficiency – Burnout and Exhaustion: What to Do!’
  • Many much-used recipes can be used to help Yin deficient people. 
  • Mainly, you should avoid very Yang foods, most ‘hot foods‘ and foods that are too stimulating.
  • But foods that are very Yin, and cold, are hard to digest and may exhaust your reserves of Yang…
  • … because you can be both Yin AND Yang deficient at the same time…
  • … just more Yin deficient than Yang deficient.


Yin Deficiency Fish Recipes

We prefer line-caught fish from the sea, not fish from fish farms.

But healthy fish from fish farms where the fish have not needed chemicals and pesticides or fungicides to maintain their health, and have been fed organic food, and have grown up in natural sea water that flushes through regularly? Well maybe all right.

And, of course, probably cheaper.

Fish from the oceans for our Yin deficiency fish recipes are potentially endangering fish stocks. We are over-fishing the oceans because we don’t grow enough food on land to keep us all healthy. So now we harvest the sea, and reading what people described about the quantities of fish available forty years ago, let alone two hundred years ago, makes you aware of how fast we are emptying the larder.

Source for yin deficiency fish recipes
Fish counter – Photo copyright acupuncture-points.org

Also, the sea itself is not pure: plenty of garbage in it, from plastic bags to mercury from sunken ships! So fish livers, which are where many of these chemicals concentrate, may be less good for you.

If possible, inform yourself: eg http://www.asc-aqua.org/

Of course, there is much more to say about eating fish, the good and the bad points. But let’s get to the Yin deficiency fish recipes!

Baked Herring fillets with Fennel and Coriander

Of the Yin deficiency fish recipes, the trick here is not to overcook the herring which, if fresh, is rich in fish oils. Overcooking destroys their benefits. The other ingredients, some yin and some yang, make this dish about neutral.

●    455gms (1lb) herring fillets
●    One small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
●    Half small red onion, sliced
●    Salt and pepper
●    One x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) balsamic vinegar
●    One x 15ml (1 tablespoon) fresh chopped coriander
●    Pinch of brown sugar

1.    Lay each fillet onto a large square of baking parchment or foil.
2.    Add the fennel, onion, oil, seasoning, vinegar, coriander and sugar.
3.    Fold the baking parchment or foil to make a parcel and place onto a baking tray.
4.    Cook for 15-20 minutes (180C) and serve with salad.


Cullen Skink (serves 4)

This is one of the great Yin deficiency fish recipes and is a traditional Scottish soup made with smoked fish. Smoking the fish slightly increases the Yang quality of the dish but otherwise it is broadly speaking neutral, so fine for tonifying Yin. However, it may not suit people who are milk intolerant, although the presence of the onion often makes the milk more digestible for them.

●    455gms (1 lb) smoked fish, chopped into smallish chunks
●   Two medium onions, sliced
●   One pint of milk
●   One tablespoon of coconut or olive oil
●   Salt and pepper, and herbs – but the dish is fine without them
●   Optional – 2 medium potatoes, lightly boiled and chopped into quarters (keep the skins on them)

Gently brown the onions in the oil over heat.

Add the milk and bring to the boil.

Then add the fish, potato, salt and pepper and herbs, if any.

Simmer for at least 15 minutes.


Salmon in Poacher’s Pouch with Rice and Peas

This Yin deficiency fish recipe has a slightly yin fish, neutral carrots, slightly yang pepper, yin orange and slightly yang onions. Even with the chicken stock it is all-in-all about neutral.

If you have it with brown rice, start preparing and cooking the rice first as it takes longest.

●   Four x 175gm (6 oz) Salmon steaks or cutlets
●   Two medium carrots, cut into Julienne strips (ie,very thin)
●   One yellow pepper, de-seeded, cut into thin strips
●   One medium leek, shredded
●   Two medium oranges
●   Two spring onions (or shallots) finely sliced
●   Three tablespoons of soya sauce
●   Sprig of Parsley as garnish (optional)
●  Four pieces of either greaseproof or baking paper, each 18” sq (Do not use cling-film.)



Mix the carrot, pepper and leek strips together. Divide into 4 piles, one each in the centre of a greaseproof or baking paper. Place a salmon cutlet or steak on each of the vegetable piles.

Into a glass, squeeze the juice of the oranges and then add the pulp of the orange (not the rind). Add the soya sauce and mix. Spoon the mixture over the salmon cutlets/steaks. Scatter on the sliced onions.

Bring the sides of the paper together, fold together and then taper the ends and fold under the salmon and vegetables, making a neat parcel of each.

Place in the steamer and steam for 9 minutes or microwave for 4 ½  minutes. Serve with brown rice and peas, sprinkling on the garnish.

Note: the brown rice takes longer to cook and only half a cup of the cooked rice should be served with each salmon parcel. A good way to cook the brown rice, making it more digestible, is to gently fry a sliced onion in a saucepan in olive or coconut oil, then add the washed rice with a sprinkling of ground, dried seaweed. Gently stir the rice and seaweed into the fried onion, stirring to make sure the rice is fully coated in oil.

Meanwhile boil up enough water or chicken stock to cover the rice with an extra half inch of water or stock on top. Pour the boiling water/stock over the rice, stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes by when the rice should have absorbed all the water or stock.

The Background to Yin and Yang

If you want to read about the background to Yin and Yang and this strange – to Western eyes – way of thinking, click here.


Have A Great Fish Recipe for Yin Deficiency?

Do you have a great fish recipe that might help people with Yin deficiency?


Jonathan Brand colours

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