In your house you'll find a kitchen in the upper-right corner. You can use this kitchen to create cooked recipes. At the beginning of the game you can use the kitchen, but you can only craft recipes that don't require a cooking utensil.
Around Spring 8 of your first year, Howard (if you live in Bluebell) or Yun (if you live in Konohana) will visit your house in the morning and give you a cooking Pot. Now you can cook dishes that require the use of the Pot as its utensil of choice. The other two cooking utensils, the Frying Pan and Seasoning Set, will appear as red-papered item requests on your town's message board at the beginning of the season. You'll see the Frying Pan around Summer 1 of your first year and the Seasoning Set on Fall 1 if you complete the Frying Pan request before it expires.
To make a cooked recipe, walk up to your kitchen and press A. You will be given two cooking options:
Cook From Recipe
If you know the recipe you want to cook, select the first option to cook the saved recipe. When you select the recipe from your cookbook, the ingredients on the top screen will be on either a red or a green background:
- A red background means you have to use this specific ingredient in the recipe.
- A green background means that this ingredient can be swapped out with another like-ingredient.
For example, if you are making Corn Cereal then you must use a Frying Pan and Corn, as these two ingredients are on a red colored background. The last ingredient, Milk, is on a green colored background. This means that the Milk can be replaced with another milk product, such as Jersey Milk or Golden Milk, and the recipe can still successfully be created.
If you aren't sure what the icon in the ingredient list represents, press the X button on your DS or 3DS to swap the top screen to the bottom screen. When the list of recipe ingredients is on the touch screen of the console you can tap on each one to learn its name.
To continue cooking with your selected recipe, press the A button to reach the pre-selected ingredient screen. If you want to change your ingredients, such as selecting one with a higher Star Rank or freshness rating, you can do so from this screen. When you've confirmed the ingredients you want to use, select the MAKE button at the bottom of the page.
Cook Without Recipe
You can learn recipes by combining ingredients together and hope they result in a recordable recipe. When you explore the villagers' houses you can find recipe hints to try in your own kitchen. The other options are to randomly experiment with mixing ingredients or to use an online list of recipes. You can also naturally learn recipes by becoming inspired.
When you try to cook using your own imagination, your rucksack will be open on the left side of the screen and your selected ingredients will be on the lower-right green Ingredients box. If you want to swap between your rucksack and horse cart storage, press the X button. You don't need to have all of the ingredients you want to use in your rucksack; selecting from your horse cart is okay too.
A cooked recipe is made of up to six ingredients. To add an ingredient, simply press the A button when the item you want is highlighted on the left-side storage area. When you're ready to combine the items, press the MAKE button at the bottom of the screen.
Don't forget to add a cooking utensil if your recipe requires one! It is common for players to add the necessary ingredients to the Ingredients box but then forget to add in the necessary cookware utensil. Even if you have all the right ingredients, omitting the required utensil will result in a Failed Dish.
Generally, you will want to first add the cookware utensil, then the base recipe ingredients, and then finally any additional ingredients that the recipe supports. For example, to make Turnip Salad, which doesn't require a cooking utensil, you can combine a Turnip and add in a Tomato as an additional ingredient. If you reverse the order (Tomato and then the Turnip) you'll end up making Tomato Salad instead.
Becoming Inspired to Learn New Recipes
As you are using your kitchen, sometimes you will automatically figure out a new cooking recipe after you create a dish. If you use the kitchen 10 times to make the same category of recipe, then you will be inspired and learn a new recipe from the same type-category. You don't have to cook the pre-inspired dish 10 times in a row (it is 10 times total) and the inspiration comes from using the kitchen and not based on the quantity: if you make a Turnip Salad, put it in your rucksack, and then make another Turnip Salad, that will count as 2 times. If you make a Turnip Salad and select two for the number of dishes you want to make, that will only count as 1 time.
If you already know the recipe, then you'll learn the next recipe in the list. For example, if you cook 10 Turnip Salads (each one at a time) then you'll automatically learn the recipe for Tomato Salad. If you already knew the recipe for Tomato Salad, then you'll be inspired to learn Herb Salad instead. When you create a total of 10 Turnip Salads, Tomato Salads, or Herb Salads, then you will be inspired and learn the recipe for Caprese Salad, and so on.
- Appetizer Category: Sauteed Turnips → Boiled Potato → Hash Browns → French Fries → Croquette → Cream Croquette → Cheese Croquette → Focaccia → Quiche → Cabbage Roll → Boiled Daikon → Shredded Daikon → Steamed Mushrooms → Roasted Eggplant → Miso Eggplant → Vegetable Stir Fry → Chop Suey → Spring Roll → Steamed Dumpling → Potstickers → Simmered Potato → Boiled Pumpkin
- Appetizer and Dessert Category: Roasted Mushroom → Roasted Corn → Corn Cereal → Popcorn → Baked Yam → Yam Dessert → Stewed Apple → Apple Pie → Strawberry Pie → Cherry Pie → Pineapple Pie → Egg Tart → Chocolate Banana → Mont Blanc → Fruit Parfait
- Bread and Dessert Category: Sandwich → Butter Roll → French Toast → Toast → Raisen Bread → Jelly Bread → Honey Toast → Canape → Herb Sandwich → Sponge Cake → Fruit Sandwich → Potato Pancake → Pancake → Cake → Honey Cake → Chocolate Cake → Cheesecake → Party Cake → Choc. Party Cake → Party Cheesecake → Trifle
- Bread and Noodle Category: Bread → Cheese Dumpling → Curry Dumpling → Cold Soba Noodles → Udon Noodles → Galette → Yakisoba → Okonomiyaki → Fried Udon → Fried Rice Noodles → Chinese Dumpling → Tempura Soba → Tempura Udon → Kitsune Udon
- Candy Category: Soybean Rice Candy → Chestnut Bun → Tteokbokki → Almond Tofu → Green Rice Candy → Soba Dumpling → Bamboo Dumpling → 3 Color Dumplings → Sweet Dumplings → Fruit Shiratama → Strawberry Rice Candy →
- Dessert and Chocolate Category: Cookies → Chocolate Cookies → Scone → Donuts → Chocolate Donuts → Chocolate Fondue → Fondant Chocolate → Churros → Choc. Sponge Cake → Tiramisu → Chocolate Pudding → Baumkuchen
- Egg Category: Boiled Egg → Fried Egg → Egg Soup → Omelet → Omelet Rice → Crab Omelet → Dashi Egg → Egg Custard → Pudding → Soy Milk Pudding → Pumpkin Pudding → Honey Pudding
- Failed Dish Category: Failed Dish → Ultimate Curry → Supreme Curry
- Fish Category: Sashimi → Grilled Fish → Marinated Fish → Fish Paste → Meuniere → Fish Stew → Fish and Chips → Tempura → Bouillabaisse → Tom Yum Goong → Crab Stew → Tuna Yukhoe → Shark Fin Soup
- Jam Category: Strawberry Jam → Grape Jam → Apple Jam → Apple Juice → Banana Juice → Peach Juice → Plum Juice → Mandarin Juice → Blueberry Jam → Russian Tea → Mixed Juice → Mixed Smoothie
- Milk Category: Hot Milk → Hot Chocolate → Cafe au Lait → Cappuccino → Ice Cream → Soft Chocolates → Choc. Ice Cream → Strawb. Soft Choc. → Strawb. Ice Cream → Matcha Ice Cream → Yogurt Shake → Honey Shake → Milk Tea → Honey Tea → Royal Milk Tea
- Pasta Category: Spaghetti → Penne Pasta → Mushroom Pasta → Pasta Salad → Raclette → Cheese Fondue → Herb Spaghetti → Tomato Fondue → Pizza → Pink Fondue → Macaroni & Cheese → Lasagna → Gratin → Moussaka → Pizzoccheri → Spaghetti Soup
- Rice Category: Cooked Rice → Rice Porridge → Egg Rice → Fried Rice → Shimeji Rice → Mushroom Rice → Chestnut Rice → Bamboo Rice → Egg Rice Bowl → Natto Rice → Paella → Rice Ball → Fried Rice Ball → Sushi → Risotto → Doria → Arancini → Dolma → Mixed Rice → Kappa Roll → Sushi Bowl → Inari Sushi → Natto Roll → Oshinko Roll → Farmer's Breakfast → Tempura Bowl → Tekka Roll
- Salad Category: Turnip Salad → Tomato Salad → Herb Salad → Caprese Salad → Cucumber Namul → Boiled Spinach → Onion Salad → Potato Salad → Asazuke → Mimosa Salad → Daikon Salad → Mixed Salad
- Soup and Curry Category: Radish Soup → Asparagus Soup → Onion Soup → Herb Soup → Vichyssoise → Gazpacho → Corn Soup → Pumpkin Soup → Stew → Curry Rice → Curry Bread → Dry Curry → Vegetable Curry → Spicy Curry → Seaweed Curry → Milk Curry → Rainbow Curry
- Soybean Category: Tofu → Cold Tofu → Dried Tofu → Soy Milk → Yuba Tofu → Deep-Fried Tofu → Soybean Soup → Ganmodoki → Fried Tofu → Tofu Salad → Boiled Tofu → Okara → Tofu Steak → Tofu Burger → Miso Soup → Oden → Pho → Bibimbap → Kimchi Stew → Soy Milk Stew → Milk Stew → Rice Pudding
Note: Before you can learn Ultimate Curry from 10 Failed Dishes, your Cooking Level needs to be at level 9 or higher.