Cooking is an absolutely major part of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's one of the outright most important parts, in fact.
Cooking is not only how you restore health if you take damage but is also how you buff yourself up to take on stronger enemies or to explore less friendly parts of Hyrule, protecting you against everything from deadly enemies right down to, well, the world itself - bad weather and other rough elements.
Cooking is so important that it's worth talking about in a bit more detail, so... let's do just that.
How to Cook in Breath of the Wild
Cooking is easy enough to do, but something a lot of people don't realise early on in the game is that there are a couple of different ways to go about cooking.
Cooking on an Open Flame
First up, you don't necessarily need a cooking pot to cook. All you need is some wood and a piece of flint. To make yourself your own personal campfire, drop wood on the ground and then drop flint on top of it. Hit the pair with a metal weapon such as a sword and the flint will spark and set the wood alight.
There's no cooking pot here so it's impossible to make other meals, but what you can do instead of that is simply burn things on the open flame.
Take a steak, for example - go to your inventory and choose to 'hold' it, then in-game simply drop it atop the flame. It'll set on fire and then cook, turning into a different item: in this instance, the seared steak - if you look closely at the above screenshot, you can see the steak in the fire.
Most things are better cooked - even an apple is better baked, offering more healing..
Cooking full meals on a Pot
If you want to get the most of your ingredients, you'll instead want to cook on an open pot. These things are abundant throughout Breath of the Wild's world - you'll find them at every stable, in every town, and also in most enemy camps that are filled with Bokoblins and the like.
Often times these pots will be lit, but if they're not you can light them with a fire weapon, fire arrows, or by lighting a wood weapon or a torch on something then bringing it to the pot. Or with flint, as above.
Once lit, here's what you do: open up the menu, and begin to hold ingredients. You can hold up to 5 things at once. Hold as many as you like, make an interesting setup, then dump it in the pot. Something will pop out: however good or bad it is, it's yours. You made it!
Recipe Ideas for Breath of the Wild
Okay, so - now you know how to cook. But what should you make? Well, we have some ideas of things that are pretty good... Keep in mind that the more of any ingredient you use the more potent its effects will be on the end result.
Understanding food bonuses
Depending on the ingredients used, any given meal in Breath of the Wild can be given a prefix that tells you what it does. Meat Skewer is one meal, for instance. Rice Balls is another. Simmered Fruit is another.
The prefix on front of a meal tells you what bonuses (if any) it has beyond health restoration. Here are what the prefixes mean:
- Chilly: Hear resistance (for the desert, not fire/volcano areas)
- Energizing: Stamina Restoration
- Enduring: Stamina meter extension
- Electro: Shock resistant
- Fireproof: Protects against fire from enemy attacks or from hot areas
- Hasty: Movement speed boost
- Hearty: Extra one-use vitality hearts
- Mighty: Attack buff
- Sneaky: Stealth buff
- Spicy: Cold resistance
- Tough: Defense buff
Most of these buffs come in different grades - forn instance Mighty buffs can come in one of three ranks. Depending on the ingredients used they can also last for different periods of time.
With that said, here are some recipes we suggest trying for a start - then experiment!
Cooking Ingredients to watch out for
Some ingredients are particularly useful. Look out for these - their effects are profound:
- Hearty Radish, Hearty Truffle, Hearty Durian: All used in recipes to boost your maximum hearts
- Razorclaw Crab, Razorshroom, Mighty Bananas, Mighty Thistle: Used in recipes to boost attack power
- Ironshroom, Armoranth: Used to boost your defense in recipes
- Cool Safflina, Chillshroom: Will boost your cold resistance when used in a meal
- Sunshroom, Warm Safflina: Will boost your heat resistance in a meal
- Blue Nightshade, Silent Princess, Silent Shroom: Boosts stealth buffs
- Voltfruit, Electric Safflina: Adds electric resistance to recipes
- Endura Shroom, Endura Carrot: Adds and increases a stamina bar buff
- Stamella Shroom: Stamina restoration when used in a meal
- Fleet-Lotus Seeds, Rushroom, Swift Violent: Speed boost capabilities
Meat & Seafood Fry - The Old Man's Recipe for the Warm Doublet
In the opening of the game the mysterious old man will request you rediscover his favourite recipe. There are some notes and clues, but here's how you make it: Raw Meat + a Hyrule Bass Fish + Spicy Peppers. Make this for him and he'll hand over the Warm Doublet.
Spicy Pepper Steak
Raw Meat + Spicy Peppers will make this delicious meal that restores hearts while giving you a resistance to the cold, allowing you to climb to the chillier peaks or enter the other cold areas of Hyrule.
Tough Meat Skewer
Ironshroom + Meat (Raw Meat, Bird Meat, whatever) will make a recipie that restores hearts (the amount depends on how much meat used and the kind) plus a boost to your defense in combat.
Mighty Simmered Fruit
This one is a bit boring, but just cook 5 Mighty Bananas together. It's not the most interesting of meals, but Bananas both heal and provide a bonus to your attack power, and the resulting dish will do the same but to a much more impressive degree.
Sneaky Steamed Meat
Simply throw together any kind of Raw Meat with Blue Nightshade - a stealthy plant. The end result will be a refreshing meal that also boosts your health for a time.
Hearty Wild Greens
Use Hearty Radish (or Big Hearty Radish) with Hyrule Herb, Mushroom and just a bit of meat to get this recipie. It'll boost your vitality by giving you extra hearts on top of the natural healing it gives you from the meal itself.
Hearty Steamed Mushrooms
Use Hearty Truggles with Hyrule Herbs and any other mushrooms you fancy to create this beast - it'll restore your health fully regardless of your heart level, plus give you some extra bonus hearts.
Energizing Meat & Mushroom Skewer
Combine any type of raw meat with some stamella shrooms and something for seasoning such as an acorn or salt to make this skewer that will restore a lot of health and almost a full bar of your stamina.
Seafood Rice Balls
Use Hylian Rice, a couple of fish and some seasoning to make this meal - a seafood feast that, if made in the right combination, will restore 7-10 hearts.