Lomo Saltado is one of the most popular and iconic Peruvian dishes. It is a comfort food that can be found nearly everywhere in Peru, prepared at home for family and friends, in simple restaurants and up-scale places alike, and of course in Peruvian restaurants abroad.
This traditional creole dish represents like no other the unique fusion of different cultures, traditions and flavors that is so characteristic for today’s Peruvian cuisine.
In the 19th century masses of Chinese immigrants settled along the Peruvian coast to work in the booming agricultural sector. Like the Spanish conquerors, the Basques and African slaves before them, they brought their cooking culture and techniques as well as a few ingredients with them. Merging Peruvian ingredients such as potatoes, ajis and meat with the Chinese way of preparing food (finely slicing ingredients and rapidly stir frying them in a wok), Lomo Saltado was born.
The traditional Lomo Saltado is prepared by stir frying sliced beef tenderloin, sirloin or fillet with red onions, tomatoes and aji amarillo adding soy sauce, vinegar and cilantro. Mixed with French fries and served with rice, Lomo Saltado is a great example of how foreign influences and cooking styles not only coexist next to the native, local cuisine, but melt in harmony creating new, enriched Peruvian flavors.
And for some variation of this fantastic and beloved dish, the beef can be substituted with chicken breast (Pollo Saltado), pork loin (Lomo Saltado de Cerdo), shrimps (Camerones Saltado) or a mixture of seafood (Saltado de Mariscos). Delicious!
Is your mouth already watering? So indulge in our quick and simple to prepare recipe for authentic Peruvian Lomo Saltado.
All ingredients can be found easily, no matter where you are in the world; except for the aji amarillo. If you want to stay as authentic as possible and don’t live in Peru, try Latin American food stores around you or online shops. They usually carry aji amarillo in jars or frozen as well as aji amarillo paste that serves its purpose of giving this dish a mild spicy note. If you can't get it, you can use any other mild yellow, orange or red chili pepper or even an orange bell pepper. The Pisco is optional and can easily be left out; I usually add it to my Lomo Saltado to give the dish this little extra Peruvian flavor.
LimaEasy's Recipe for Lomo Saltado
- 500g (1 lb) beef tenderloin or sirloin
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 large red onion
- 2 aji amarillo (may be subsituted with another mild yellow, orange or red chili pepper)
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 large potatoes and deep frying oil (or thick ready-made fries)
- 180 g (1 cup) white rice
- 3 - 4 Tbsp soy sauce (or more)
- 3 - 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or more)
- Freshly chopped cilantro
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- Splash of Peruvian Pisco (optional!)
- Cut the meat into thin slices and place in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a little bit of pepper, stir. Let marinate.
- Cut onions lengthwise into thick slices, deseed tomatoes and cut as well lengthwise into thick slices, deseed the aji amarillo (or other chili pepper) and cut in thin strips. Place onions, tomatoes and chili into a bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, stir and let marinate.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into thick French fries, fry until cross. Set aside. If you use ready-made fries, prepare them according to instructions.
- Cook the rice.
- Then add a bit of cooking oil to a big sauté pan or wok and preheat. Then stir fry the meat in small portions over high heat until just done (about 2 to 3 minutes). Reserve the marinate and if present the juice.
- Once all the meat slices are fried, return them to the wok and add the onions, tomatoes and aji, after a minute the reserved marinates and meat juice, 3 - 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and the red wine vinegar. If you like more sauce - like we do - add more equal amounts of soy sauce and vinegar.
- Let simmer until the vinegar is evaporated and the onions and tomatoes start to soften (they should stay “al dente”). Immediately remove from heat.
- Quickly add the freshly chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and optional a splash of Peruvian Pisco.
- Then toss in the prepared French fries and serve immediately with rice.
- Enjoy one of my favorite Peruvian dishes!
In case there are leftovers - never happens in our home, I always have to prepare more to have something left - use them to make delicious Peruvian-style Tequeños with a Lomo Saltado filling.