toro toro food onomatopoeia in Japanese

Japanese Onomatopoeia to Describe Food

Learn Japanese onomatopoeia to describe food texture and flavors.

オノマトペ, or Japanese onomatopoeia, not only refers to sound symbolic words but also includes mimetic and sensory words.

とろとろ
(torotoro)
runny, melting
ねばねば
(nebaneba)
gooey, slimy
しゅわしゅわ
(shuwashuwa)
fizzy, bubbles rising
ふわふわ
(fuwafuwa)
fluffy, airy
もちもち
(mochimochi)
moist and springy, glutinous
こんがり
(kongari)
toasted, well-baked
ぷりぷり
(puripuri)
plump, perky, bouncy
ぷるぷる
(purupuru)
jiggly
さくさく
(saku saku)
light and crispy
あつあつ
(atsu atsu)
piping hot
ほくほく
(hoku hoku)
fluffy and crumbly
きんきん
(kin kin)
ice-cold, chilled
しゃきしゃき
(shaki shaki)
crisp
しっとり
(shittori)
soft and moist
さっぱり
(sappari)
a light, refreshing flavor or feeling
こってり
(kotteri)
a rich soup, a heavy dish
つーん
(tsūn)
the burning sensation in your nose when you eat wasabi
きーん
(kīn)
the sensation when you get a brain freeze

 

Listen to the pronunciations in the video and learn sample phrases for each.

Review:

とろとろ (toro toro)
runny, melting (cheese, egg yolk)

とろとろ also means to drag, to be slow
とろとろ(ある)く = walk slowly, dragging one’s feet

ねばねば (neba neba)
gooey, slimy (natto, okura)

しゅわしゅわ (shuwa shuwa)
fizzy, bubbles rising

ふわふわ (fuwa fuwa)
fluffy, airy

もちもち (mochi mochi)
moist and springy, glutinous 

こんがり (kongari)
toasted, well-baked

ぷりぷり (puri puri)
plump, perky, bouncy

ぷるぷる (puru puru)
jiggly

さくさく (saku saku)
light and crispy (deep-fried foods, crackers)

あつあつ (atsu atsu)
piping hot

あつあつ also describes two people in love
あつあつのカップル = lovebirds

ほくほく (hoku hoku)
fluffy and crumbly (cooked starchy potatoes)

きんきん (kin kin)
ice-cold, chilled

しゃきしゃき (shaki shaki)
crisp (lettuce)

しゃきしゃき also means briskly
しゃきしゃき(ある)く = walk briskly

しっとり (shittori)
soft and moist (cake)

*しっとりしたお(はだ) = soft and moist skin

さっぱり (sappari)
a light and refreshing flavor or feeling

*シャワーを()びてさっぱりした = I took a shower and now I feel refreshed.

こってり (kotteri)
a rich soup, a heavy dish (tonkotsu ramen)

つーん (tsūn)
the burning sensation in your nose when you eat wasabi

きーん (kīn)
the sensation when you get a brain freeze

Learn more Japanese onomatopoeia related to eating and drinking.

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