This lomo saltado recipe or peruvian beef stir fry is my favorite peruvian dishes and one of the best examples of Peruvian cuisine.
Where did this traditional Peruvian dish originate?
This dish originated in Peru and is what is known as “chifa cuisine,” a blend of Peruvian Creole cuisine with Chinese cuisine, as Peru experienced significant Chinese immigration during the 19th century.
What does stir-fried beef contain?
Like many Peruvian foods, especially chifas, it includes two carbohydrates: in this case, crispy French fries and a side of white rice. For a spicy kick, the beef is sautéed with various vegetables, including tomato, onion, garlic, and aji amarillo peppers. However, it can be challenging to find fresh yellow chili pepper outside South America, so you can replace it with yellow chili paste or any other chili pepper you have on hand.
If you have already the aji amarillo paste you would like to try this delicious Peruvian yellow sauce for chicken, or for anything you want (in Peru is like ketchup)
In this dish, you can see the Cantonese-Chinese influence not only in the soy sauce but also in the cooking technique, which involves very high heat and is ideally done in a hot wok (although it can be prepared perfectly in a skillet with a little patience). This technique is reminiscent of stir-fried dishes like “chapsui.”
Why is it called lomo saltado?
It´s a strange name if you translate it, literally, it means “jumping steak”, but the answer is simple: the main ingredient is beef loin that is sautéed (in Spanish salteado) with various vegetables. Over time, the “E” was dropped, changing “salteado” to “saltado.” Initially, this dish was known as “lomo de vaca” or “lomito a la chorrillana.”
What cut of meat to use:
We should choose a cut that has little fat and is tender, ideally “tenderloin”, “sirloin steak”,” filet mignon” or “skirt steak” in the United States or “filet” in the United Kingdom. It’s also important to trim off large pieces of fat when chopping it.\
When cutting the meat, it’s better to make strips about an inch thick, so it won’t dry out as much and will cook well. If we want, we can also chop it into cubes.
The temperature of the pan is very important; it should be very hot so that everything becomes crispier and juicier. It doesn’t matter if you use a wok (which would be ideal as its shape heats better) or a traditional frying pan; you need to be patient and wait for the oil to start smoking before you start cooking.
You should have everything chopped and ready before heating the pan since the cooking is VERY fast. Lastly, but very important, we should prepare this dish with the kitchen hood turned off. I know it sounds illogical, but when working with such high temperatures, the pan’s contents can catch fire, which isn’t bad if we just need to remove it by moving the whole pan from the handle or covering it to put out the flames.
If the range hood is on, it would force the fire’s ventilation (similar to a chimney draft), and the flame could grow too much.
So, you know, never flambe with the range hood on.
Remember to season the meat lightly because, as it also includes soy sauce (due to the influence of the Chinese cooks), it can become too salty, and it’s easier to add salt at the end.
Remove the seeds from the tomato so they don’t add too much liquid to the mixture.
Many recipes include pisco, which helps flambe the meat since alcohol is flammable. But I think the recipe is much easier without this step, and this process isn’t so necessary to be delicious, so I don’t include it.
If we want, we can add dried oregano.
Storage and duration:
The traditional lomo saltado is meant to be prepared and eaten immediately, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, the best option is to sauté it again in a pan or wok with oil for a few minutes, as the microwave would significantly change its texture.
Lomo saltado recipe
El lomo saltado or peruvian beef stir fry is my favorite peruvian dishes and one of the best examples of Peruvian cuisine.
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin cut into finger-width strips
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup broth or water
- 1 large red onion peeled and sliced into 1/2 cm slices
- 3 large tomatoes skinless, cut into wedges and deseeded
- 1 ají amarillo pepper deseeded and finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon of aji amarillo paste
- Salt black pepper, and cumin to taste
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- 3 potatoes peeled and cut into finger-width strips
- Oil for frying
Heat the oil, carefully add the potatoes, and fry until golden brown. Carefully remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt to taste.
While frying the potatoes, in a large pan or wok (it's better if you use a wok), heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the cut of beef and garlic and cook until the meat is browned on all sides. Add the vinegar and cook until half of the liquid has evaporated.
Add soy sauce and broth to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Next, add the onion, tomato, salt, pepper, and cumin. Cook for another 3 minutes, and finally, add the aji amarillo and cook for one more minute.
On each plate, place some rice, french fries, and lomo saltado. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves, and enjoy your classic Peruvian lomo saltado!