12.221 Kalops Beyond

Cycle 12 – Cycle 221

14 (Sat) August 2021

Kalops Beyond


by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Korean-Swedish Culinary Exchange (17) (see also KSCX)

GK and I had agreed on stew as the theme for this latest exchange.  He suggested kalops for me.  I suggested budae jjigae for him.


Kalops is a Swedish dish.  According to the recipe in The Daring Gourmet, it’s “a traditional beef stew that is slowly cooked with vegetables and spices, most notably allspice berries which gives it its distinct flavor.  Traditionally it is always served with potatoes and red pickled beets.  Delicious and belly-warming, this is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s evening.”  As confirmed by GK via the Svenska Akademins Ordbok (the Swedish equivalent for Oxford English Dictionary), the name of the dish derives from the English word “collop,” which refers to a slice of meat (often bacon).

Until doing the research for kalops, I had never heard of a collop.  “Give me 4 collops of bacon, please.”

G7 (The Seventh Generation), a cheap brand of wine by Chilean producer Vivino, now offers varietals in quarter/pony/piccolo bottles (187 ml) at just 3,000 won each (the full bottle sells for 8,000 won).  Very convenient for recipes that call for small amounts.  The screw cap allows for easy refrigeration of any remainder for future applications.   The wine itself isn’t that great, actually not too bad, good enough for dishes in which wine isn’t a critical ingredient.

I was happy to find allspice available on-line, bottled locally.

The dish didn’t start out so well.  Because the meat had been dredged in flour, it browned quite nicely but eventually made the soup way too thick and clumpy.  Furthermore, everything was very bland, vaguely beefy, no trace of wine (the recipe called only for a quarter cup), and a wisp of allspice – interesting, though, that the subtlety of the allspice did come through.

I augmented the recipe by adding milk and white pepper, which turned the soup into a creamy gravy, and a dash of beef bouillon to up the flavor.  On a last-minute whim, so as not to waste the gravy, I tossed in macaroni left over from the stuvade makaroner a few exchanges back.

As usual, having never tried an authentic rendition of the dish, I have no frame of reference to judge my effort.  The addition of milk certainly pushed it beyond the bounds of a traditional kalops, but I hope that it remained Swedish enough.


[The comments below are GK’s own words, with minor typographical edits from me.]

I made the budae jjigae yesterday and shared it with a friend.

Perilla leaves, sliced onions, kimchi, and a beef stock cube, as well as a sauce made out of soy sauce, gochuchang, gochugaru, garlic, and black pepper, were added.

As per your suggestion, I used falukorv, which I have to say was a good idea.  The blandness of the falukorv paired well with the spiciness of the rest of the dish.  I used pressad skinka (also known as picnicbog) as an equivalent of SPAM (which as far as I know is not sold in Sweden). As you can see from the photo it looks more or less identical.  I also added Bullens pilsnerskorv, a canned sausage that’s been sold (recipe unchanged) since the 1950s.  I thought it would be fitting with an ingredient with more or less the same length of history as the overall dish.

After cooking the stew a little bit, I added instant noodles and a slice of “American yellow cheese” (as it’s called in the recipe). To be honest, I don’t really get what the cheese adds to the dish.  In any case, one single slice in a big stew is not gonna make a difference, neither good nor bad.

The one mistake was adding two packs of noodles instead of just one.  We didn’t finish all the noodles, and day old noodles are not that appetizing.  

The ratio of broth compared to other ingredients could also have been higher.

In any case, both me and my friend liked the dish, and both agreed that the falukorv paired well with the spiciness.

Next time, I think I’m adding baked beans, too.


A few comments on GK’s dish:

  • Given that budae jjigae began as a humble hodgepodge stew of whatever processed meats that could be scrounged from – in the wake of the Korean War, when food was scarce, especially fresh meat (1.265 Budae Jjigae) – localized versions outside of Korea should feel perfectly free to include whatever’s available.  I’m sure that Koreans in Sweden use falukorv in their budae jjigae.
  • I extend my deepest appreciation for GK’s sense of history in using Bullens pilsnerskorv, first launched in 1953, the year that the Korean War came to a halt.  Full circle, the sausage and the stew coming together 71 years later in GK’s kitchen (like falukorv, probably not for the first time, but anyway).  Imagine if hallyu, and hansik, got really huge in Sweden, the company could market the sausage for budae jjigae.
  • “SPAM (which as far as I know is not sold in Sweden)” – this made me realize that KSCX began under a lie.  On our very first exchange, GK had made AHQFGT a generic processed meat product spam, not official Hormel-produced SPAM.  He did spell it lowercase “spam,” and Koreans generally use “spam” in reference to any rectangular luncheon meat, but I feel a betrayed nonetheless.  Well, I sent him a can of the real stuff in a care package, so finally he can come clean.
  • The cheese and the baked beans, like the meats, are also part of the tradition, all American processed crap, sourced from the base commissary, sold on the black market.  When I make budae jjigae, I never add them.

As always, I really enjoyed the exchange and learned a lot.  Thanks to GK for his participation!


Although I’ve attempted various Swedish meat dishes, they’ve involved small pieces of meat.  For my next effort, I will try something bigger, like ribbestek.


5 thoughts on “12.221 Kalops Beyond

  1. Great post as always!
    I’m glad you liked the kalops (or did you? it’s not totally clear). At least you managed to do your own creative twist of it. Speaking of not having a frame of reference I actually realized that you can actually buy canned kalops. If I’m going to send you another “care package” in the future, I might include of of those….

    Regarding this whole exchange beginning as a “lie”, I will definitely make up for it by re-creating my first dish soon (september/october), this time with “real” SPAM.

    Regarding the next dish, ribbestek (which I had never heard of before, which probably speaks of my cultural ignorance of my Scandinavian neighbours) seems to be a danish dish… Anyways, why not “branch” into other parts of Scandinavia? You could even pair it with a danish beer and/or snaps.

    I, for my part, is thinking of doing my favorite korean dish, 제육볶음 (spicy stir-fried pork). That dish was also coincidentally the first korean food I had in my life, on the evening of my first day in Korea, wandering through the back alleys of Anam-dong in search for food, using the korean phrasebook I had brought with me, pointing on “pork”, with no idea what I was going to get served…
    I’m thinking cooking both using the pre-made marinade that you sent me, as well as doing it from scratch according to the cookbook you sent me.

    1. I like the idea of kalops, so I’ll try it again with a different recipe.

      I like the idea of another care package from Sweden, though the most important component would be whisky.

      According to SwedishFood.com: Ribbestek probably originated in Skåne, in southern Sweden, but it is now popular across the whole country. It gets its name because the crackling looks a bit like ett ribbstaket (a rib, or slatted, fence). Ribbestek is popular in Sweden for Sunday lunch, in which case it is often served with rödkål (sweet and sour braised red cabbage) and hasselbackpotatis (hasselback potatoes). See https://www.swedishfood.com/swedish-food-recipes-main-courses/358-pork-roasted.

      I appreciate your challenge for me to expand into other Scandinavian cuisines (I did make Norwegian smorbrod once), and curiously enough Danish pork is common in supermarkets here, but I’d be even more lost without a native for guidance.

      In addition to the spicy bulgogi sauce, use the Yeondu and sesame oil!

      1. I’m looking forward to sending another one then. There are actually quite a few more whisky distillers here nowadays besides Mackmyra. Let’s continue thinking whatever else you might need.

        I’m aware of the tradition of sunday steak, but I have never heard of that specific term. My ignorance of the dialect and culture of Skåne is probably at fault again.

        As far as I’m aware, pork (as well as beer) are actually two of the top export goods from Denmark. Curious that it would be exported all the way to Asia though..

        I actually cooked the 제육 earlier this week, though I had some “challenges” (which I will elaborate on when I send you the e-mail with the photos). Thanks for the tips of using the yeondu and the sesame oil for the batch cooked using the sauce base. I will divide the remainer of that batch in two parts and let one part marinate some more with yeondu as well as sesame oil, and then fry both again…

  2. i’m not an expert on jeyuk bokkeum, but i’m wondering if the sauce base would scorch during the cooking if used as a marinade?

    1. I realize now that I might have confused/equated 양념 with “marinade”. Looking at Naver, I see that it’s actually translated to “seasoning”.. I don’t see how that would make a difference regarding scorching though…

Leave a Reply