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"Calcium deposits in the scales of this ancient fish make them as hard as armor. Cooking it into a dish will fortify your bones, temporarily increasing your defense."
Hyrule Compendium

Armored Carps are items from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are curative items that restore Link's health by refilling one Heart Container. Like other Carps, they are found in freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds though most commonly appear in the freshwaters of East Necluda and Lanayru Great Spring.

Cooking

Link can cook with Armored Carps to grant "Tough" effect to dishes and Elixirs, which raises Link's defense when consumed. They can be the main ingredient in Fish Skewer, Fish and Mushroom SkewerFish Pie, Meat and Seafood Fry, Salt-Grilled Fish, Seafood Meunière, Seafood Rice Balls, Steamed Fish, and Tough Elixir. Effects do not stack in cooking, so armored carps cannot be paired with items of other effects without resulting in Dubious Food.

Link can roast Armored Carps by placing them on a Campfire or hot surface to create Roasted Carps. Link can place them on a frozen surface, such as a frozen lake or the snowy ground in a cold climate, to create Frozen Carps. Roasting and freezing do not transfer the "tough" effect of the dish; as only Cooking Pots transfer special effects to food though freezing gives them a "chilly" effect though this applies to all frozen foods.

Armored Carp provide identical benefits to Ironshell Crabs when cooked. They are better cooking ingredients than Armoranths, Fortified Pumpkins, and Ironshrooms, but are worse than Armored Porgy.

Amount Hearts Effect Level Effect Duration
1 2 1 0:50
2 4 2 1:40
3 6 2 2:30
4 8 3 3:20
5 10 3 4:10

Captive Breeding

Main article: Sanke Carp
"This wild armored carp has been bred into a prizewinning fish. Its beautiful colored markings do not occur in nature. It offers no special effects when cooked."
Hyrule Compendium
Breath of the Wild Fish (Carp) Sanke Carp (Icon)

According to the description of the Sanke Carp, the people of Hyrule (presumably the Sheikah of Kakariko Village where Sanke Carp are found) caught wild Armored Carps and bred them in captivity creating the prizewinning Sanke Carp bred which resemble real world Koi carp and do not occur naturally nor provide any effects when cooked which implies Sanke Carp scales lack the calcium deposits of their wild kin presumably as a result of them being bred to have beautiful colored markings on their scales that does not occur on Armored Carp in the wild.

As a result Sanke Carp can only be found in the water around Impa's House in Kakariko Village and nearby Lantern Lake which flows into to the moat-like pond around Impa's House by waterfall. As they are only found living in or around Kakariko Village it is implied they were bred in captivity by local Sheikah, possibly by even Impa herself though as Armored Carp are an ancient species it is possibly ancient Sheikah bred them or even genetically engineered them with Sheikah technology.

See also