Stardew Valley is a favorite of gamers from all walks of life, and with good reason. Even players who prefer action-packed RPGs or first-person shooters can often find something to enjoy in its various daily chores and locales. Its world changes a lot as the player completes tasks and earns money, so that there's something new to discover with every season.

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Among one of the early changes to the game is the addition of a kitchen, once the player is finally able to upgrade their house for the first time. Then, the world of culinary expertise opens wide before the fan's eyes. Ingredients they may never have heard of are required to cook some dishes and their drive to discover more is pushed further. With all the chaos unfolding in front of them, here are the best ingredients to hoard for cooking in the early game.

10 Fish For Sashimi, Baked Fish, Fish Taco...

Lake Fishing

Fish are one of the most valuable cooking ingredients in Stardew Valley by far. Since the player doesn't use their chickens or cows for meat, it's their only chance to add some substantial protein to their diet! Many recipes call for one fish or another, meaning farmers need to save them up when they are in season, while other recipes can be cooked with whichever fish they can dig up. Sashimi is among the most rewarding of this sort, calling for just one ingredient: any kind of fish.


9 Milk For Cheese, Lobster Bisque, Chowder...


A common new-player mistake in Stardew Valley is starving out the animals, causing them to stop producing goods and eventually die. The milk, eggs, wool, and other resources that animals provide are essential to making money and finishing the game,  but the milk is especially valuable as a cooking ingredient, too.

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One egg might turn into a Fried Egg, but an egg and milk will turn into an Omelet, with twice the healing and energy boost of a Fried Egg! It's also an essential component in soups, chowders, and deserts, to name a few.

8 Green Algae For Algae Soup

Stardew Valley Green Algae River Fishing

Out of all 74 of the recipes the player can cook in Stardew Valley, Algae Soup is one of the easiest by far. The player has surely been scooping green algae out of the water since the first time they tossed out their line, so if they've held on to their stash, they can make a bunch of these all at once. It may not be as interesting as chocolate cake, or as boosting as the fruit salad, but in a pinch, players are thankful to have a few of these soups tucked away.

7 Eggs For Fried Egg, Omelet, Cake...

Stardew Valley Eggs Coop Chickens Ducks

Eggs are a perfect choice for early cooking since they can be made into easy and complicated dishes alike (not to mention that duck eggs are among handsome Harvey's best gift options). Some of the best recipes including eggs aren't available to the player until later in the game, but many can be received towards the beginning. Just one egg can be turned into a Fried Egg, potentially doubling its net energy gain, or the player could save it for something like a Pink Cake, which has an energy boost five times that of a Fried Egg!

6 Vinegar For Salad, Parsnip Soup, Coleslaw...

Stardew Valley Pierre's Vinegar

Vinegar is used in only a few recipes from Stardew Valley, but each one is a sturdy, energy-rewarding choice. It's purchasable at Pierre's for a reasonable sum, and then the player can use it to make salads, soups, and delicious coleslaw. Many of the recipes which require vinegar are only available by watching The Queen of Sauce episodes on television, so be sure to catch them right from the beginning of the day!

5 White Algae For Pale Broth

Stardew Valley White Algae Pale Broth Cooking

White algae are less common than green algae, but they're still an easy find if the player is looking in the right places. Like with green algae, white algae are the only requirement in their dish, Pale Broth, which offers a significant boost at a low cost to the player. The recipe is easy to get, too, since it only requires the player to have a heart level of 3 or more with Marnie, the friendly farmer who lives south of the gamer's farm.

4 Wheat Flour For Pizza, Bread, Fried Calamari...

Stardew Valley Wheat Flour Farm

The fun wheat flour recipes make an excellent argument that beginners should upgrade to a kitchen as soon as possible. The list of wheat flour recipes includes many real-world favorite dishes, like pancakes, calamari, pizza, and cakes galore!

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Like sugar, wheat is an ingredient found in many Stardew Valley recipes, so it will probably pair well with whatever the player has on hand. One example is the Crab Cakes, a dish made with the crab available from any nearby crab pot.

3 Tree Seeds For Field Snacks

Fall Leaves Stardew Valley

Whether fans prefer to be a forester or a gatherer, they'll be spending a lot of time in the forests. At the beginning of the game, they'll need to clear their farm of the overgrown roots and rocks, and afterwards, they'll venture south to Cindersap forest to get their wood fix to build...everything.

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All of this factors into why Field Snacks are such a valuable energy booster in Stardew Valley. They are made from just one acorn, one maple seed, and one pine cone. The player is bound to find these along their travels — they just need to resist the urge to sell them and make a few extra gold that day.

Stardew Valley Sugar Mill Fall Farm

Sugar is an ingredient in a handful of Stardew Valley's recipes, so it's nice to have on-hand — it'll probably go with whatever else the player is cooking anyways. It's also essential for one of the best farming meals, the Maple Bar.

Since video games echo real life, recipes with sugar usually give a huge energy boost! It's often included with fruit that the player can grow on the farm in order to make baked treats or drinks. One of the earliest recipes the player will receive is the Miner's Treat, at Mining Level 3.

1 Oil For Crispy Bass, Fried Eel, Stir Fry...

Fishing in Stardew Valley

For players attempting the challenging new beach farm, having oil to cook fish with will be a necessity. Beyond just fish, oil is included in lots of the best recipes to boost energy and restore health — like salads and stir fry. Thankfully, a lot of the oil recipes aren't difficult to obtain. While some will require a little dedication, others are simply a reward for having three or more hearts with a particular NPC. It's a good excuse to accrue friendship with them anyway since a lot of the cutscenes and gameplay is driven by the number of hearts the player has with one character or another.

NEXT: The Top 10 Stardew Valley Mods

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