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Our Loma Salado recipe is a traditional preparation of a very popular Peruvian dish.
We learned about Lomo Saltado within minutes of arriving in Lima, Peru a stop on our way to hike the Inca Trail. From then on it has been one of our favorite fusion dishes that we recall as fondly as our time on that famous four-day hike.
When we first arrived in Peru we did what we often do when arriving in a new country. We asked the cab driver, who was taking us from the airport toward the center of Lima, “What should we eat in Peru?” His English was pretty non-existent, and our Spanish could use (a lot) of improvement. But despite that, we were able to understand a lot of what he was saying.
He rattled off a few dishes, and then stopped and paused. He glanced back at us and said, lovingly “Lomo Saltado” and rolled his eyes. “Mi favorito” he said.
We met several other people during those first days. Every one of them suggested that we try the ceviche (raw fish or seafood cooked in lime juice – Lima is known to have the best, anywhere).
We also sought out a Pisco Sour (the country’s national drink), Aji Galina (chicken with a creamy spicy sauce often served with French fries), and most especially, Lomo Saltado. We made it our mission to seek out each one. It wasn’t difficult. We started with the Lomo Saltado.
We found Lomo Saltado on almost every menu we read. When we finally ordered it, we felt a bit confused. It looked like a Chinese dish, and wait, are those French fries? It turns out that there is a large Chinese (specifically, Cantonese) population in Peru.
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After the abolition of slavery in Peru, Chinese immigrants (called Coolies) were hired to perform the hard manual labor in the sugar cane fields and mines.
Today, there remains a vibrant Chinatown in Lima and a Chinese restaurant (locally referred to as “Chifas”) in every neighborhood. The Loma Saltado dish is a fusion of both cultures, and it is both unique and delicious.
Loma refers to the tenderloin section of meat (beef in this recipe) that is stir-fried over high heat with vegetables and mixed with French fries. As with all recipes, there are as many versions as there are people who make the dish themselves. Here is ours!
Here are some additional Peruvian recipes you might enjoy!
- 1 Pound (0.5 kg) Beef loin
- 1 Medium White Onion, cut in lengthwise strips
- 2 Potatoes, such as Russet potatoes or Yukon Gold
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, cut in lengthwise strips
- 1/2 Chili Pepper, such as Serrano or Jalapeño pepper, cut into strips
- 1 Medium Tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Peruvian Pisco brandy*.
- 4 Cups of cooked White Rice (optional)
- Lemon and fresh cilantro as garnish.
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon (2.5 cm) Fresh Ginger, minced
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon (16 g) Tomato Paste
- 1/2 Teaspoon (1 g) Ground Cumin, optional
Combine the marinade ingredients and set aside.
Cut the beef tenderloin into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. Mix it with the marinade and let it rest covered in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Cut the potatoes into slices in the shape of fries. Coat them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Carefully flip them over and continue baking for 15 - 20 minutes, until they are golden brown. Set aside.
Heat a nonstick skillet (or wok if you have one) over high heat, remove the meat from the liquid and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, lightly browning the outside. You don't want the meat to overcook and become tough. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the onion and tomato when it has reached a high temperature (add additional oil if necessary to prevent sticking). Cook for 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic and chopped ginger. Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the red bell pepper and chili pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Next, add the soy sauce, vinegar and tomato paste. Stir and then return the meat to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
Add a splash of Pisco (which you can flambé for extra drama) and then add the potatoes.
Let the flavors combine for 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve with white rice on the side and garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.
*White tequila can be substituted for Peruvian Pisco
Amount Per Serving Calories 361Total Fat 10.7gSaturated Fat 4gSodium 307mgCarbohydrates 24.7gFiber 4.1gSugar 4.6gProtein 36g
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