One of the many benefits that hundreds of years of waves of immigration has brought to Peru is new ingredients, flavours and cooking styles that have added to the already diverse and rich local culture.
Lomo saltado, in some ways, reflects Peru’s rich cultural diversity in just one dish – well, some of it anyway! Clearly influenced by the Chinese stir-fry (and cooked in a wok), the red wine and tomatoes are additions from Peru’s Spanish heritage, and cumin made it throughout Europe after travelling the spice trail from the Middle East. And how could we forget the potatoes – native to the Andes, and a staple of Peru long before they made it into the UK’s fish and chips!
- 500g fillet steak, cut into 1cm thick strips
- 3 tbsp red wine
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp aji amarillo paste
- 3 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2l sunflower or vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 large red onion, cut into thick slices
- 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- white rice
- small handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Start by creating the stir-fry sauce. Mix the red wine, soy sauce, sugar and half the aji amarillo yellow chilli paste in a small bowl. Set to one aside.
- Separately, mix the garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and 2 tbsp of oil together and use the mixture to season the meat, rubbing it in with your fingers.
- Next we need to cook the potatoes. Heat a pan of hot oil and deep fry the chips until they are golden. You’ll know when they’re ready because the bubbles will have reduced dramatically. Remove them carefully with a slotted spoon and allow the oil to dry off on a piece of kitchen towel. It should take around ten minutes.
- Next it’s time for the main part of the dish. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large wok over a medium-high heat. Add the marinated beef; cooking until dark golden brown on all over – which should take about 3 minutes – and remove from the wok and set aside.
- Then add the left over oil to the wok with the onions. Fry these for a couple of minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly, then add the rest of the yellow chilli (aji amarillo) paste. After about 30 seconds add the tomatoes and continue to fry altogether for about 2-3 minutes, until the tomato is softening and the juice is running into the bottom of the wok.
- Now we’re really ready to get the stir-fry sizzling! Add the cooked beef back into the wok with the stir-fry sauce you made in step one. Stir and toss regularly, to coat the whole dish in the delicious sauce.
- Now you have a choice – you can either mix the potatoes into the stir-fry – as is traditional, or you can serve them alongside it with the rice. If you do mix it in, be careful not to stir too hard as they can become a bit soft and soggy in the sauce.
- Plate up alongside fluffy white rice and sprinkle with parsley. There you have it – a true Peruvian classic!