Cuisine can be divided into four major categories, which follow the division of the four nations in the world. Each nation's cuisine is characterized by specific ingredients, dishes, and cooking methods, though regional variation in cuisine is common, particularly in the Earth Kingdom.
Following the establishment of the United Republic of Nations, culinary methods began to diversify in ways previously unseen, largely due to the unique blending of different traditions in one area. Technology also began to advance on an unprecedented scale, which had an effect on how the food was prepared, as well as the ability to create new culinary products.
- 1 Air Nomads
- 2 Water Tribe
- 3 Earth Kingdom
- 4 Fire Nation
- 5 United Republic of Nations
- 6 Trivia
- 7 References
Much of the culinary traditions of the Air Nomads were lost after their civilization was nearly wiped out at the beginning of the Hundred Year War. However, the most defining characteristic of their cuisine was strict vegetarianism, and they were also known for their sweets, such as fruit pies and custard tarts. In keeping with their traditional philosophy of non-violence and not harming the environment, the Air Nomads cultivated their own food in ways that caused the minimal environmental impact.
- Apple — Edible fruit produced by an apple tree.
- Banana — Used for juices.
- Coconut — Used to make macaroons.
- Eggs — Used in baked goods, such as egg custard tarts.
- Flour — Used to make dough for pies, tarts, and other dishes. Also added to Air Nomad style tea.
- Maple syrup
- Moon peach — Eaten whole.
- Mung beans
- Nuts — Eaten for a snack.
- Onion — Used for juices.
- Pickles — Used as an ingredient.
- Plum — Used as filling in fruit pies.
- Soy — Used to make tofu.
- Dumplings — Presumably filled with vegetables.
- Fruit pie — Baked pastries filled with minced fruit.
- Macaroons — Cookie-shaped confections made with coconut. Korra featured the recipe in her book, An Avatar's Chronicle.
- Rice — Eaten as a side dish.
- Steamed tofu 
- Sweet buns — Glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in large flat leaves.
- Tofu and mung bean curry
- Lychee juice — Made from lychee nuts.
- Onion-banana juice — A beverage using for cleansing chakras, and which was considered by Aang to taste like pickles.
- Tea — Made from a variety of leaves in hot water. The Air Nomad style includes flour.
Because of the barren land on which they live, the people of the Water Tribe draw most of their food sources from the ocean. Staples of the cuisine include crab, sea prunes, squid, seaweed, and seal jerky. Meat generally plays an important role in many Water Tribe dishes.
Although the cuisine of the Northern and Southern Water Tribes are similar, there are certain differences. By Avatar Korra's lifetime, both tribes had re-established themselves on the international stage, and food began to diversify as imports from other nations were incorporated into local cuisines.
The main cooking styles of the Water Tribe are boiling and stewing, as they lack the resources to make more elaborate dishes. Additionally, as they live in a colder part of the world, it is more practical to have foods like stews that warm the body and less practical to have things like salads. Many foods are also dried and preserved, such as jerky made out of seal meat.
- Blubber — Served raw.
- Fish — Usually steamed or boiled.
- Giant fly — Hunted for food by the Foggy Swamp Tribe.
- Giant sea crab — A delicacy considered by many to be the most popular and sought-after food in the Northern Sea.
- Kale — Made into cookies.
- Mushroom — Usually boiled.
- Octopus/Squid — Used in stews.
- Platypus bear — Served whole at feasts in the Northern Water Tribe.
- Possum chicken — Hunted as food by the Foggy Swamp Tribe.
- Sea prune — Boiled into sea prune stew, similar in taste to ocean kumquats.
- Seal — Used to make blubbered seal jerky.
- Seaweed — Used in making a number of dishes, including noodles, stew, and cookies.
- Arctic hen — A delectable Southern Water Tribe dish that, according to Bolin, tastes similar to possum chicken.
- Blubbered seal jerky — Jerky made from seal meat and blubber.
- Cotton candy — Spun sugar formed into a ball; sold at the Glacier Spirits Festival.
- Dried fish
- Five-flavor soup — Traditional Southern Water Tribe dinner.
- "Fried foods on sticks" — Sold at the Glacier Spirits Festival.
- Kale cookies — Cookies made out of kale, they are sometimes served at meetings.
- Pickled fish — A meal that lives up to its name; eaten in the Northern Water Tribe.
- Puffin-seal sausages
- Sea prune stew — Sea prunes stewed in broth and with other ingredients.
- Seaweed noodles — A typical Southern Water Tribe dish.
- Seaweed stew — A Northern Water Tribe dish, it can be made with substitute ingredients in the Forgetful Valley of the Fire Nation. It is suggested that there is also a Southern Water Tribe-style version of this dish.
- Steamed dumplings
- Tentacle soup — A Northern Water Tribe dish, consisting of squid/octopus tentacles and noodles.
- Two-headed fish soup — A Southern Water Tribe specialty.
- Vegetable broth
- Wine — An alcoholic beverage.
- Freeze-dried cucumberquats — Used by adventurers in the Southern Water Tribe as an emergency food source, should they get stranded.
People in the Earth Kingdom grow and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, and rice; meat and poultry from wild game and farms are also common. There are many regional variations in the types of food eaten, ranging from simpler village fare to the elaborate roasts, cakes, and other delicacies found in Ba Sing Se. While having a meal in Ba Sing Se, Zuko commented that the food tasted almost identical to Fire Nation food but less seasoned.
Due to its size, the Earth Kingdom has many variations in climate which in turn affect food preparation, resulting in a variety of cooking methods being utilized in the nation. Boiling is used for rice and many vegetables, while fish is usually steamed and meats are generally roasted. Baking is used extensively to make cakes, buns, and tarts. In the metal city of Zaofu, they serve a fusion cuisine of gourmet and vegetarian entrées, most of which use specially prepared ingredients such as kale.
- Beans — A useful travel food.
- Lentils — A useful travel food.
- Rice — A staple crop.
- Wheat — Can be made into flour.
Fish, meat, and dairy
- Egg — Used in a variety of ways.
- Elephant rat — Eaten by the daofei to survive in the wild.
- Fish — Usually steamed or seared.
- Lobster crab — Usually boiled or roasted.
- Possum chicken — Consumed by members of the Foggy Swamp Tribe.
Fruits, vegetables, and fungi
- Cabbage — Usually boiled, stir-fried, or left uncooked and used as garnish.
- Chili — Used as a flavoring.
- Daikon radish
- Grapes (green)
- Kale — A staple ingredient in Zaofu cuisine.
- Kelp — Can be pickled and spiced.
- Lettuce — Can be boiled, stir-fried, or left uncooked and used as garnish.
- Lychee nuts — Small reddish-brown fruit that can be used to make tea.
- Mango — Eaten and used to make a beverage of the same name. Also, can be made into pomace.
- Moon peaches
- Orange — Snacked on and used in some wagashi desserts.
- Persimmon — An astringent tree fruit.
- Soy — Used to make tofu.
- Sweet potato
- Taro root
- Wild nuts
- Brine — Water strongly impregnated with common salt used to pickle food.
- Jennamite — A fast-growing rock candy that can be eaten as a snack. It is also known as Creeping Crystal.
- Lemon juice
- Peanut — A small legume which can be made into a sauce. The sauce can also be used to craft certain explosives.
- Salt — A mineral used as a food preservative and flavor enhancer, procured from salt mines, such as the one located in the mountain neighboring Yaoping Town.
- Bean curd puffs — Made from cottage cheese and beans.
- Beetle-worm soup — Dish prepared and served by Grandma Lokai.
- Bison steak — Cooked meat from a flying bison. It is a rare dish that is consumed by citizens of the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se.
- Braised turtle-duck
- Cabbage cookies — A signature dish of the cabbage merchant.
- Cabbage noodles — A signature dish of the cabbage merchant.
- Cabbage soup — A signature dish of the cabbage merchant.
- Cakes — Mixed flour, sugar, egg, and butter; baked.
- Crab puffs — Crab meat made into puffs.
- Deep-fried pickled radishes — A deep-fried vegetable that Katara considered as having a pleasing aroma.
- Dried sweet potato — A dried vegetable consumed by residents of the daofei settlement of Hujiang.
- Dumplings — Pieces of dough wrapped around a filling of meat and/or vegetables, such as leek. Types of dumplings include dao bao and xialongbao.
- Egg custard tart — Tart with an egg custard center.
- Fried dough — Flour dough that is fried.
- Ginger-infused pea tendril and hibiscus-root salad — An aromatic vegetarian side-dish served in gourmet meals.
- Jook — Rice congee (a kind of porridge).
- Meat kebabs
- Noodle soup — Noodles and various vegetables and meats cooked in soup.
- Pan-fried noodles
- Pau buns
- Pumpkin pie
- Ramen — Noodle soup prepared in a variety of ways.
- Roast duck — A duck that is seasoned with herbs and spices, roasted, and applied with a special sauce.
- Rice gruel — A meal consumed by residents of the daofei settlement of Hujiang.
- Seared wild Kyoshi elephant koi — A gourmet meal prepared by pan-searing fresh elephant koi. Often served with complementary side dishes, such as hibiscus root salad.
- Seaweed soup — A remedy for blood loss.
- Seaweed wraps — Small rolls wrapped in seaweed.
- Soup — Made from a variety of meats and vegetables; usually thin.
- Spicy pickled kelp — Considered a delicacy.
- Sugar cookies
- Sushi — Small cutlets of fish rolled in rice and seaweed. It is often eaten by the inhabitants of Kyoshi Island.
- Tofu — Tofu made into smaller puffs and fried.
- Unfried dough — Regular flour dough, cut into the shape of Avatar Aang. Exclusive dish of Chin Village.
- Vegetable wrap — A vegetarian course often served raw and made out of leafy produce, such as kale.
- Wagashi desserts — Small puff pastries with various toppings and fillings. These desserts are eaten on Kyoshi Island, as well as being consumed at parties in Ba Sing Se.
- Cactus juice — Named by Sokka, this liquid is consumed straight from cacti found in the Si Wong Desert and has strong hallucinogenic properties.
- Kalenutsco — Fresh drink made from a mixture of kale, walnuts, and coconut water, pioneered by Suyin Beifong's chef in Zaofu.
- Mango — Made from mangoes and other fruits mixed with water in an ice bowl.
- Tea — Made from a variety of tea leaves in hot water. Varieties include jasmine, green, and lychee.
- Wine — An alcoholic beverage.
- Mint — A small piece of candy.
The defining characteristic of Fire Nation cuisine is its spicy nature, and Fire Nation citizens are known to put spices into many of their delicacies and treats. The Fire Nation uses a wide variety of grains, meats, and vegetables in cooking.
As with the Earth Kingdom, many cooking methods are utilized in the Fire Nation, with an extensive variety of food types available; regional variation is smaller, however, due to the size of the nation. Boiling is used for rice and many vegetables, while fish and meats and generally steamed and roasted, respectively. Like the Earth Kingdom, baking is used extensively to make cakes, buns, and tarts, though the Fire Nation also has many snack foods, typically in the form of roasted bite-sized pieces with a large number of spices. Chili and other spices are added to nearly all savory food.
- Beans — Cooked in pots during the Festival of Szeto to represent the inventories being counted.
- Flour — Made from wheat into buns and dumplings.
- Millet — Toasted for use as a travel snack.
- Rice — A staple food, usually boiled.
- Wheat — A staple food, made into flour.
Fish and meat
- Clams — Usually boiled.
- Duck — Usually roasted.
- Elephant rat — Eaten during survival training at the Royal Fire Academy for Girls.
- Fish — Usually steamed with garnish applied.
- Komodo chicken — Usually roasted. In 100 AG, Zuko took a box of komodo chicken to his uncle, Iroh, during his imprisonment in the Capital City Prison.
- Komodo rhino — Traditionally made into sausages and served at picnics and sporting events.
- Sea slug — Usually smoked.
- Squid — Usually fried.
Fruits, vegetables, and fungi
- Apple — Grown on trees; can be bought at the market in Fire Fountain City.
- Ash banana — Brownish-yellow fruit that can be baked into a bread.
- Cabbage — Usually boiled, stir-fried, or left uncooked and used as a garnish.
- Chili — Used extensively for almost any type of dish; found stir-fried, boiled, and in salads.
- Lychee nuts — Small reddish-brown fruit that can be used to make tea or juice.
- Ocean kumquat
- Pink berries
- Purple berries
- Brine — Water strongly impregnated with common salt used to pickle food.
- Salt — A mineral used as a food preservative and flavor enhancer, procured along the shore of Shuhon Island, near Fire Fountain City.
- Buns and bread — Made from flour.
- Dumplings — Dough filled with meat and/or vegetables.
- Fire gummies — Snack food.
- Flaming fire flakes — Snack food; spicy flakes that are roasted.
- Fruit tart — Dessert. It can be served with rose petals on top.
- Gruel — A breakfast item at the Fire Nation Royal Palace, typically served bland with spices and oils on the side to be added to taste.
- Hippo-ox tail skewers
- Hotcakes — Pastry. Sometimes used for birthday celebrations.
- Ice cream — Frozen cream, eaten in waffle cones.
- Komodo sausage — Sausage made from komodo rhino meat.
- Loco moco – Traditional dish of Hira'a.
- Mochi — A chewy rice cake, may be prepared for birthday celebrations.
- Noodle soup — Soup with noodles and seafood.
- Udon noodles
- Roast duck — Duck that is seasoned, roasted, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Salted vegetables — A breakfast item at the Fire Nation Royal Palace, served alongside gruel.
- Sea soup — Soup with seafood and eggs.
- Sizzle-crisps — Snack food, probably made from meat.
- Smoked sea slug — Common dish enjoyed by middle and upper class.
- Stalknose mushrooms — A traditional Festival of Szeto dish, symbolic of good harvest due to growing on overcrowded ears of grain.
- Rice candy — Snack food.
- Superspicy soufflé — Specialty of Kirachu Island.
- Tart pie — Pie with fruit tart on top.
- Tea sandwich — Small prepared sandwiches.
- Juice — A cold drink with a slice of fruit.
- Plum wine — An alcoholic beverage.
- Sorghum liquor — A strong alcoholic beverage.
- Sweetened beverage — A dark, sugary drink sold during the Festival of Szeto to symbolize the prodigious amount of ink Avatar Szeto used over his career.
- Tea — Made from a variety of leaves in hot water. There are many varieties. The type drunk in the homeland is Fire Nation spiced tea, mainly by commoners, but nobles may have it as well. They also enjoy jasmine and ginseng tea.
- Watermelon juice — A naturally occurring beverage consumed on especially hot days or at the beach. The deep pink liquid can be drunk by cutting a hole in the top of a watermelon and sucking it out using a straw fashioned from a bamboo shoot.
- Sweet cream — Served with hotcakes.
United Republic of Nations
The United Republic of Nations primarily offers commercially prepared foods, such as instant noodles and snack cakes, with the majority of its gourmet cuisine being imported from the other nations.
- Chili peppers — A hot, red pepper believed by Varrick to increase brain circulation if eaten whilst hung upside down.
- Molasses — A viscous substance refined from sugar that can be stored in barrels and used as a sweetener.
- Cupcakes — Small pastries topped with icing and cherries.
- Dumplings — Usually made from flour or rice.
- Flameo Instant Noodles — A convenient dish known for its quick preparation time. Shiro Shinobi advertised the product over the radio during a pro-bending match, calling them "the noodliest noodles in the United Republic".
- Roasted meat on sticks — When Korra and Naga arrived in Republic City and sought out food, the first place they came across was a stall selling various kebab-like snack foods, though they had no money to pay for them.
- Octopus fritters — Served as an appetizer.
- Popcorn — Sold at the Pro-bending Arena.
- Seaweed noodles — A dish typically from the Southern Water Tribe. It is sold at Narook's Seaweed Noodlery.
- Strawberry pie — Pie made with strawberry filling.
- Street gruel — A common meal among the homeless population of Republic City. Made from the contents of the city's various dumpsters.
- Varri-cake — A type of snack cake made and distributed by Varrick Global Industries. It contains a red filling, topped with white icing.
- Cherry-berry lemonade — A refreshing drink made from squeezed cherries, berries, lemon juice, water, and sugar.
- Cucumber-aloe water — A mixture of aloe vera and water, served with two cucumber slices.
- Smoothie — A drink made up of various fruits blended together.
- Soda water — Carbonated water, which can also be used to remove stains from clothes.
- Tea — Made from a variety of leaves in hot water.
- Watermelon juice — A refreshing beverage consumed on hot days.
- Most dishes, specifically those of the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation, are heavily influenced by real-life Asian cuisine, particularly that of China. Many of them, such as jook, roast duck, and dumplings, are real foods.
- Loco moco is based on the Hawaiian dish of the same name, in keeping with Hira'a's tropical inspiration.
- The foods of the Water Tribe are heavily based on Inuit cuisine, with an emphasis on meat dishes.
- While chopsticks are the primary eating utensils used worldwide, utensils that resembled cutlery and forks were placed at the table during Tarrlok's Avatar gala in Republic City and used in Zaofu.
- The Air Nomads are the only entirely vegetarian nation.