Mochi is an example of a food with the chewy Q texture.
Tapioca balls in boba milk tea is another example.

In Taiwan, Q (Chinese: 𩚨; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: khiū) is a culinary term for the ideal texture of many foods, such as noodles or boba,[1][2][3][4][5] and fish balls and fish cakes.[6] Sometimes translated as "chewy", the texture has been described as "The Asian version of al-dente [...] soft but not mushy."[7] Another translation is "springy and bouncy".[6]

The term originates from the Taiwanese Hokkien word khiū (Chinese: 𩚨), which has a sound similar to the letter "Q" in English, and has since been adopted by other forms of Chinese, such as Mandarin.[8]

It also appears in a doubled more intense form, "QQ".[7]


  1. ^ Qin, Amy (2018-10-14). "In Italy, 'Al Dente' Is Prized. In Taiwan, It's All About Food That's 'Q.'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  2. ^ Munchies Staff (2015-03-18). "The Mysterious 'Q Texture' You Didn't Even Know Your Food Was Missing". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  3. ^ Spiegel, Alison (2015-03-18). "This Taiwanese Food Term Will Change the Way You Look at Gummy Candy". Vice. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  4. ^ Russell, Laura (2017-05-01). "The Curious Case of Q". Roads & Kingdoms. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  5. ^ Mair, Victor (2010-04-15). "Is Q a Chinese Character?". Language Log. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  6. ^ a b Erway, Kathy (2015). The Food of Taiwan. New York: Houghton Miller Harcourt. pp. 203–204. ISBN 9780544303010.
  7. ^ a b Lim, Stephanie (2016-05-13). "What is...QQ?". Michelin Guide. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  8. ^ Quartly, Jules (2020-01-21). "The True Story of Q". Taiwan Business TOPICS. Retrieved 2021-12-02.