With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, learn how to make lomo saltado, a Chinese-Peruvian stir-fry.
If you’re not familiar with Peruvian cuisine, there’s a lot to love. One of the most iconic dishes of the country is lomo saltado, a delicious example of fusion cuisine and one of the finest forms of meat and potatoes anywhere around.
What Is Lomo Saltado?
This savory stir-fry is a lunchtime staple in Peru, where it’s typically served on potatoes instead of rice (though sometimes, it’s served on rice with French fries mixed right in), and often topped with a fried egg for extra protein.
Made with tender chunks of beef, tomatoes, and onions, all sautéed with aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow peppers) and soy sauce, lomo saltado is purely Peruvian, although it has Cantonese-Chinese roots that date back to the 1800s.
Aji Amarillo Paste, $9.50 on Amazon
An easy way to work authentic Peruvian flavor into your dishes if you can't find the fresh peppers.
Related Reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Peruvian Cuisine
Chinese-Peruvian Chifa Cuisine
Between 1849 and 1874, more than 100,000 Chinese contract laborers came to the country to work in the mines and sugar fields, and many of these workers stayed in Peru long after their contracts were up. Their presence played a large influence on Peruvian cuisine, and today visitors will find chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) restaurants all around the country.
Lomo saltado is the chifa dish that transcends those boundaries; most local restaurants include this beloved dish on their menus in some form, many with their own twist on the basic recipe.
As for the name, “lomo” refers to the beef tenderloin typically used for the dish, and “saltado” describes the cooking method (since the ingredients “jump” around the pan when stir frying.)
A Lomo Saltado Recipe
This version, courtesy of Chef Jonathan Campos at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, includes a bit of dark beer and red wine vinegar, and is served with a side of plantains and homemade French fries—but feel free to add steamed white rice too if you feel like carbo loading.
Lomo Saltado A Lo Pobre
- 1 ounce coriander
- 1 pound beef tenderloin
- 1/2 purple onion, cut in wedges
- 1 Italian tomato, cut in wedges
- 1 yellow pepper, cut in wedges
- 1 1/2 ounces butter
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons dark beer
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, fried
- 1 ripe plantain, steamed, baked, or fried
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- cumin to taste
- 2 cups white rice
- 3 yellow potatoes, cut in wedges and fried
- Chop beef tenderloin in small pieces. Season with garlic and cumin.
- Heat wok or pan over high heat (very important for the wok or pan to get VERY hot).
- Add vegetable oil and seasoned beef tenderloin.
- Saute meat on high heat until cooked thoroughly on all sides.
- Add vegetables (onion, yellow pepper, and tomatoes) and stir for a few minutes.
- Mix in red wine vinegar, soy sauce, and dark beer.
- Finish by adding cubes of butter and chopped coriander.
- Plate with Peruvian corn, fried yellow potatoes, a fried egg and plantain.
Header image courtesy of JW Marriott El Convento Cusco