Cuisine in the World of Avatar can be divided into four major categories, which follow the division of the four nations. However, regional variation in cuisine can be found, particularly in the Earth Kingdom.
Since the Air Nomad civilization was nearly wiped out at the beginning of the Hundred Year War, little is known about the culinary traditions of the Air Nomads. However, the most defining characteristic of their cuisine was a strict vegetarianism. Air Nomads were also known for their sweets, such as fruit pies and custard tarts.
Nothing is known about the cooking style of the Air Nomads, except that they were skilled at baking.
- Apple — Used for pies and feeding sky bison.
- Banana — Used for juices.
- Flour — Used in baked goods, such as fruit pies.
- Moon peach — Eaten whole.
- Nuts — Eaten for a snack.
- Onion — Used for juices.
- Dumplings — Presumably filled with vegetables.
- Fruit pie — Baked pastries filled with minced fruit.
- Macaroons — Cookie-shaped confection.
- Moon cakes — A cake.
- Noodles — Mixed with vegetables.
- Rice — Eaten as a side dish.
- Steamed tofu
- Sweet buns — Rice dumplings wrapped in large flat leaves.
The main cooking styles of the Water Tribes appear to be boiling and stewing, as they lack the resources to make more elaborate dishes. Also, 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. They also make jerky out of seal meat.
- 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.
- Octopus/Squid — Used in stews.
- 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 — Made into noodles, stew, sprinkles, soup, bread, and cookies.
- Arctic hen — A delectable Southern Water Tribe dish.
- Blubbered seal jerky — Jerky made from seal meat and blubber.
- Cotton candy — Sugar spun into a ball; sold at the Glacier Spirits Festival.
- Five-flavor soup — Traditional Southern Water Tribe dinner.
- 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.
- Sea prune stew — Sea prunes stewed in water and with other common 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.
- Tentacle soup — A Northern Water Tribe dish, consisting of squid/octopus tentacles and noodles.
- Freeze-dried cucumberquats — Used by adventurers in the Southern Water Tribe as an emergency food source should they get stranded in the arctic.
People in the Earth Kingdom grow and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, rice, and tea. 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.
A huge variety of cooking methods are utilized in the Earth Kingdom. The Earth Kingdom is a massive continent with many variations in climate, which in turn effects food preparation. Boiling is used for rice and many vegetables. Fish is usually steamed, and meats are usually 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 which use specially prepared ingredients such as kale.
- Wheat — Can be made into flour.
Fish, meat, and dairy
- Chicken — Usually roasted.
- Crab — Made into crab puffs.
- Duck — Usually roasted.
- Egg — Used in a variety of ways.
- Fish — Usually steamed and applied with garnish.
- Lobster crab — Usually boiled or roasted.
- Platypus bear egg — Used in a variety of ways.
Fruits and vegetables
- Cabbage — Usually boiled, stir-fried or left uncooked and used as garnish.
- Chili — Used as a flavoring.
- Kale - A staple ingredient in Zaofu cuisine.
- 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.
- Moon peaches
- Mushroom — Usually boiled.
- Soy — Used to make tofu.
- Jennamite — A fast growing rock candy that can be eaten as a snack. It is also known as Creeping Crystal.
- 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.
- Cakes — Mixed flour, sugar, egg, and butter; baked.
- Crab puffs — Crab meat made into puffs.
- Deep-fried pickled radishes — These are never seen, only mentioned by Katara in "Sokka, The Avatar".
- 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).
- Noodle soup — Noodles and various vegetables and meats cooked in soup.
- Pan-fried noodles
- Pau buns
- Roast duck — A duck that is seasoned with herbs and spices, roasted, and applied with a special sauce.
- 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 wraps — Small rolls wrapped in seaweed.
- Soup — Made from a variety of meats and vegetables; usually thin.
- 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.
- Cactus juice — Found in the Si Wong Desert, this liquid can be consumed straight from the cactus, though has strong hallucinogenic properties.
- Kalenutsco — Fresh drink made from a mixture of kale, walnuts, and coconut water.
- 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.
- Mint — A small piece of candy.
The defining characteristic of Fire Nation cuisine is its spicy nature, closely resembling real-life Szechuan cuisine. Fire Nation citizens even put spices into many of their delicacies and treats. Like the Earth Kingdom, 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. Regional variation is smaller, but the types of food available are still extensive. Boiling is used for rice and many vegetables. Fish is usually steamed, and meats roasted. Baking is used extensively to make cakes, buns, and tarts. The Fire Nation also has many snack foods, typically in the form of roasted bite-sized pieces with a large amount of spices. Chili and other spices are added to nearly all savory food.
- Flour — Made from wheat into buns and dumplings.
- Rice — A staple food, usually boiled.
- Wheat — A staple food, made into flour.
Fish and meat
- Clams — Usually boiled.
- Duck — Usually roasted.
- 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 — Made into sausages.
- Sea slug — Usually smoked.
- Squid — Usually fried.
Fruits and vegetables
- Apple — Grown on trees; can be bought at the market in Fire Fountain City.
- Ash banana
- Cabbage — Usually boiled, stir-fried, or left uncooked and used as 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
- 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.
- 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 — Rice cake.
- Noodle soup — Soup with noodles and sea foods.
- Roast duck — Duck that is seasoned, roasted and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 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.
- Superspicy soufflé — Specialty of Kirachu Island.
- Tart pie — Pie with fruit tart on top.
- Juice — A cold drink with a slice of fruit; a favorite of Piandao.
- Tea — Made from a variety of leaves in hot water. There are many varieties. The type drunk in the homeland is Fire Nation spice tea, mainly by commoners, but nobles may have it as well. They also enjoy jasmine and ginseng tea, the latter of which Iroh says is his favorite.
- 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.
United Republic of Nations
The United Republic primarily offers commercially prepared foods, such as instant noodles and snack cakes, with the majority of its gourmet cuisine being food imported from the other nations.
- Cupcakes — Small pastries topped with icing and cherries.
- Dumplings — Usually made from flour or rice.
- Flamey-Os 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".
- 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.
- Lychee juice — Made from lychee nuts.
- Smoothie — A drink made up of various fruits blended together.
- Tea — Made from a variety of leaves in hot water.
- Most dishes, specifically those of the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation, are heavily influenced by Asian cuisine, particularly that of China. Many of them are actual dishes, such as roast duck and dumplings.
- 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.
- The Air Nomads are the only entirely vegetarian nation.