Words Related to Food Texture -DAILY NIHONGO-

【サクサク/カリカリ(さくさく/かりかり)】”SAKUSAKU / KARIKARI”

Meaning: 

crispy

Usage: 

「サクサクのから揚げが食べたい。」
(さくさくのからあげがたべたい。)
(Saku-saku no kara-age ga tabetai.)
”I am craving crispy fried chicken.”

  • 「から揚げ (からあげ / kara-age)」means meat, fish, or vegetables that have been fried with flour or potato starch, but generally when「から揚げ (からあげ / kara-age)」 is used alone, it refers to fried chicken.
  • 「サクサク (さくさく / sakusaku)」 is mainly used when the crispy part (e.g., batter of tempura) is thin. 「カリカリ (かりかり / karikari)」, on the other hand, is used when the crispy part has some thickness. 「カリカリ (かりかり / karikari)」 is closer to “crunchy”.
  • List of foods described as「サクサク (さくさく / sakusaku)」and 「カリカリ (かりかり / karikari)」
    • 「サクサク (さくさく / sakusaku)」
      • 天ぷら (てんぷら / tempura)
      • エビフライ (えびふらい / ebifurai / ”deep fried prawn”)
      • コロッケ (ころっけ / korokke / “croquette”)
      • 春巻き (はるまき / harumaki / “spring roll or egg roll”)
      • パイ (ぱい / pai / “pie”)
      • ミルフィーユ (みるふぃーゆ / mirufīyu / “mille-feuille”)
    • 「カリカリ (かりかり / karikari)」
      • 芋けんぴ (いもけんぴ / imokempi / “fried strips of sweet potato coated with sugar”)
      • クルトン (くるとん / kuruton / “crouton​”)

Glossary:

  • サクサク(さくさく): crispy
  • から揚げ(からあげ): fried chicken
  • 食べる(たべる): to eat
  • ~たい: to want to […]

【ザクザク(ざくざく)】”ZAKUZAKU”

Meaning:

crunchy

Usage:

「お父さんの作ったオートミールクッキーはザクザクでおいしい。」
(おとうさんのつくったおーとみーるくっきーはざくざくでおいしい。)
(Otōsan no tsukutta ōtomīru kukkī wa zaku-zaku de oishī.)
“The oatmeal cookies that Dad made were crunchy and delicious.”

  • 「ザクザク (ざくざく / zakuzaku)」is an onomatopoeia that describes a crunchy texture. It especially describes the feeling of something grainy and crumbly in the mouth.
  • List of foods described as 「ザクザク (ざくざく / zakuzaku)」
    • ラスク (らすく / rasuku / “rusk”)
    • メロンパン (めろんぱん / meron-pan / “cookie-crusted bread shaped like a melon”)

Glossary:

  • お父さん(おとうさん): father 
  • 作る(つくる): to make, to cook
  • オートミール(おーとみーる): oat meal
  • クッキー(くっきー): cookie
  • ザクザク(ざくざく): crunchy
  • おいしい: tasty, delicious

【フワフワ(ふわふわ)】”FUWAFUWA”

Meaning:

fluffy

Usage:

「最近、生クリームを使ったフワフワの高級食パンが人気です。」
(さいきん、なまくりーむをつかったふわふわのこうきゅうしょくぱんがにんきです。)
(Saikin, namakurīmu o tsukatta fuwa-fuwa no kōkyū shokupan ga ninki desu.)
“Recently, fluffy and fancy bread (sliced bread for toasts) made with fresh cream has become popular.”

  • 「フワフワ (ふわふわ / fuwafuwa)」 is an onomatopoeia for softness. There are many different onomatopoeias for softness, but 「フワフワ (ふわふわ / fuwafuwa)」 is used especially for foods that are soft and have a lot of air in them. It can also be used for things other than food.
  • List of foods described as 「フワフワ (ふわふわ / fuwafuwa)」
    • 綿菓子 / 綿あめ (わたがし or わたあめ / watagashi or wata-ame / “cotton candy”)
    • スフレ (すふれ / sufure / “soufflé”)
    • はんぺん (hampen / “surimi fish cake”)
    • マシュマロ(ましゅまろ / mashumaro / “marshmallow”)
    • パンケーキ (ぱんけーき / pankēki / “pan cake”) *We also say 「ホットケーキ (ほっとけーき / hottokēki)」.

Glossary:

  • 最近(さいきん): recently, these days, nowadays
  • 生クリーム(なまくりーむ): dairy cream, fresh cream, whipping cream
  • 使う(つかう): to use
  • フワフワ(ふわふわ): fluffy
  • 高級(こうきゅう): high-class, high-grade, luxury
  • 食パン(しょくぱん): white bread
  • 人気(にんき): popular

【モチモチ(もちもち)】”MOCHIMOCHI”

Meaning:

chewy

Usage:

「白いたい焼き食べたことある?モチモチで美味しかったよー!」
(しろいたいやきたべたことある?もちもちでおいしかったよー!)
(Shiroi taiyaki tabeta koto aru? Mochi-mochi de oishikattayo.)
“Have you ever tried a white taiyaki? It was so chewy and good!”

  • One of the most famous sweet snacks in Japan is Taiyaki.
  • 「たい焼き (たいやき / taiyaki)」 means 「鯛 (たい / tai)」 (sea bream) to 「焼く (やく / yaku)」 (to bake). It is a pancake shaped like a fish and filled with red bean paste. Besides red bean paste, there are ones filled with custard cream, chocolate cream, and so on.  There are also salty ones like the one filled with curry paste.
  • 「白いたい焼き (しろいたいやき / shiroi-taiyaki)」(white taiyaki) is a type of taiyaki that became popular in Japan more than 10 years ago. The pancake batter is made with tapioca flour instead of wheat flour, making it very chewy. The number of stores selling them has decreased, but if you like the chewy texture, try them when you can.
  • 「モチモチ (もちもち / mochimochi)」, as some of you might have noticed, is a word that comes from the chewy texture of mochi (rice cakes), meaning that the food is soft and firm like a mochi.
  • Note that this onomatopoeia is not used for things that are difficult to chew, such as elastic meat or octopus.
  • List of foods described as 「モチモチ (もちもち / mochimochi)」
    • 餅 (もち / mochi / “rice cake”)
    • タピオカ (たぴおか / tapioka / “tapioca balls or boba tea”)
    • わらび餅 (わらびもち / warabi-mochi / “a traditional Japanese dessert made from bracken starch”)
      *It’s 「プルプル (ぷるぷる / purupuru / “jiggly”)」, too!

Glossary:

  • 白い(しろい): white
  • たい焼き(たいやき): taiyaki *It is a fish-shaped pancake filled with red bean paste.
  • 食べる(たべる): to eat
  • ~したことある?: Have you ever done […] ?
  • モチモチ(もちもち): chewy
  • おいしい: tasty, delicious

【プルプル(ぷるぷる)】”PURUPURU”

Meaning:

jiggly

Usage:

「山梨に行ったら、プルプルの水信玄餅を食べてみて!夏の暑い時期にピッタリだよ。」
(やまなしにいったら、ぷるぷるのみずしんげんもちをたべてみて!なつのあついじきにぴったりだよ。)
(Yamanashi ni ittara, puru-puru no mizu-shingen-mochi o tabetemite! Natsu no atsui jiki ni pittari dayo.)
“When you go to Yamanashi in summer, try the jiggly water shingen mochi! It’s perfect for the hot summer season.”

  • 「水信玄餅 (みずしんげんもち / mizu-shingenmochi)」is a Japanese sweet, also called “raindrop cake”. It is made of water from Hakushu, a famous water source, and hardened with a minimal amount of agar. It is eaten with kuromitsu or yellow soybean flour. The product is sold only during the summer and is so delicate that it must be eaten within 30 minutes of purchase.
  • 「水信玄餅 (みずしんげんもち / mizu-shingenmochi)」is sold at Kinseiken stores. Website (Japanese)
  • List of foods described as 「プルプル (ぷるぷる / purupuru / “jiggly”)」
    • ゼリー (ぜりー / zerī / “jelly or jello”)
    • プリン (ぷりん / purin / “pudding”)
    • こんにゃく (kon-nyaku / “konjac or devil’s tongue or yam cake”)
    • 豆腐 (とうふ / tōfu / “tofu”)

Glossary:

  • 山梨(やまなし): Yamanashi Prefecture
  • 行く(いく):  to go
  • プルプル(ぷるぷる): jiggly
  • 水信玄餅(みずしんげんもち): water shingen mochi
  • 食べる(たべる): to eat
  • ~してみる: to try […]
  • 夏(なつ): summer
  • 暑い(あつい): hot *You can use this Kanji when the temperature is high.
  • 時期(じき): season, period
  • ピッタリ(ぴったり): perfectly suited 

【ネバネバ(ねばねば)】”NEBANEBA”

Meaning:

sticky, gooey

Usage:

「納豆やオクラ、とろろがのったご飯をネバネバ丼と言います。」
(なっとうやおくら、とろろがのったごはんをねばねばどんといいます。)
(Nattō ya okura, tororo ga notta gohan o neba-neba-don to īmasu.)
“Rice topped with natto, okra, and tororo (grated yam) is called Nebaneba-don (sticky rice bowl).”

  • 「ネバネバ (ねばねば / nebaneba)」 is an onomatopoeia used for food that forms strings when eaten, such as natto. We also use this term for other sticky foods, such as the surface of gum left in a car in the summer. (In this case, it is sometimes referred to as 「ネチャネチャ [ねちゃねちゃ / necha-necha]」)
  • List of foods described as 「ネバネバ (ねばねば / nebaneba)」
    • 納豆 (なっとう / nattō / “natto or fermented soybeans)
    • オクラ (おくら / okura / “okra”)
    • ナメコ (なめこ / nameko / “mushrooms with a slightly gelatinous coating”)

Glossary:

  • 納豆(なっとう): natto (fermented soybeans)
  • オクラ(おくら): okra
  • とろろ: grated yum
  • のる: to be placed on […]
  • ご飯(ごはん): rice
  • ネバネバ(ねばねば): sticky, gooey
  • ~丼(どん): […] rice bowl
  • 言う(いう): to say, to name

【パサパサ(ぱさぱさ)】”PASAPASA”

Meaning:

dry

Usage:

「肉や魚は加熱しすぎるとパサパサになるよ。」
(にくやさかなはかねつしすぎるとぱさぱさになるよ。)
(Niku ya sakana wa kanetsu shisugiru to, pasa-pasa ni naruyo.)
“If you overcook meat or fish, it will become dry.”

  • 「パサパサ (ぱさぱさ / pasapasa)」is an onomatopoeia that describes a condition in which water is removed from food, causing it to dry up and leave fibers in the mouth that make it difficult to swallow.
  • List of foods described as 「パサパサ (ぱさぱさ / pasapasa)」
    • 鶏むね肉 (とりむねにく / tori-mune-niku / “chicken breast”)
    • ささみ (sasami / “chicken tender”)
    • 固ゆで卵 (かたゆでたまご / kata-yude-tamago / “hard boiled egg”)
    • スコーン (すこーん / sukōn / “scone”)

Glossary:

  • 肉(にく): meat, flesh
  • 魚(さかな): fish
  • 加熱(かねつ): heating
  • ~しすぎる: to do […] too much
  • パサパサ(ぱさぱさ): dry
  • なる: to be, to become

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