Thursday, March 25, 2010


Souperb is a ready-meal provider in Sweden. As its name suggests, it tries to offer superb soup. But they also produce some non-soup ready meals.

Last Saturday, I had to go to office to get some work done. On Saturdays, there are no restaurants open around my workplace. I had to buy some ready meal at a kiosk next to the nearest station, even though I know ready meals in Sweden taste pretty bad.

I happened to find Souperb's Wallenbergare med Potatismos, which looked rather nice. And it tasted better than I expected, even though green peas got some wrong taste for some reason.

Slightly encouraged by this experience, today I finally tried one of Souperb's offers that I've always avoided ever since I moved to Sweden: Sweet Beef Tokyo. (Remember I am from Tokyo.) I looked at it, and I had to leave the kiosk once, because it didn't look really right. But I didn't want to end up with meatballs again, which is the only decent lunch dish around my workplace. I took courage to buy one and had it for lunch today.

It's worse than I expected. Remember my expectation wasn't that high. I've never had something like this in Tokyo. One thing that's completely wrong is red chili. We Japanese never ever put chili into what Souperb calls sweet beef. Plus, umami is completely absent. (If you don't know what umami is, look it up on Wikipedia.)

Here's the real recipe for what Souperb calls sweet beef. It seems the sources of the trouble are finely chopped onions and leeks (so they lose the texture; in Japan, onions and leeks are only sliced for this dish so you can enjoy the soft but still crunchy texture) and, most importantly, the failure to simmer beef in Japanese sake or white wine and to add mirin to the sweet soy sauce. Japanese sake or mirin is hard to obtain in Sweden. But why don't they even use white wine? Perhaps they prefer drinking it.

Using the name of Tokyo for this ready meal is derogatory to the superb dining culture of Japan's capital. (I'm serious.)

Souperb also offers Hot Chicken Bangkok, but I wouldn't try, especially because Thai foods in Stockholm, which is quite popular, almost always get something wrong.

1 comment:

周平 said...

I've tried Hot Chicken Bangkok and Chicken Wok Thai. But both of them were totally bad even though a Chinese friend likes the latter. I haven't tried Sweet Beef Tokyo but I actually hesitate to eat it according to some reasons (incl. it's insane black color) and have decided not to try that forever after reading the comment. It seems that they are only good at western food.