Peruvian food Recipes Lomo Saltado something my mom invented years ago to clear freezer and fridge buildup. The beef chunks are mixed in a dark brown sauce that includes onions, scallions, and peppers, as well as garlic, garlic, and tomato. Are those yellow, soggy French fries? As we all know, appearances can be a lot deceiving.
Lomo Salado is a thoughtfully prepared dish that uses various ingredients and techniques to reflect the diverse cultures that have contributed to its creation. It is an example of china cuisine, which refers to the Chinese-Peruvian mixed cuisine created more than 100 years ago by Chinese immigrants.
This dish combines Chinese ingredients such as stir-frying and soy sauce. Some recipes call for French fries to be tossed directly in the wok to coat with the sauce. Others prefer to keep the fries on the side to preserve their crisp texture. You can see that I kept them on the side. There are many different ways to make it work.
Two things are essential to great lomo Salado:
- Select the proper cut of beef.
- It’s essential to properly stir-fry the beef, which can be difficult on a small range. It could be threefold.
- Fry your French fries properly.
I’ll link to our article on how to make crispy, delicious McDonald’s-style French Fries rather than writing about it.
Peruvian food Recipes Lomo Saltado
The Right Beef Cut
Lomo, the Spanish term for “loin,” is not very descriptive. However, a cow can have multiple cuts called a “loin,” so it’s not as clear-cut. For example, is this the short loin, tenderloin, or sirloin? (which can be divided into the top sirloin and bottom sirloin). So we need to think about all of these things and more.
We want a tender, quick-cooking cut low in collagen-rich, tough connective tissue. Because the heat takes little time to transform these cuts, they are best suited for quick searing or grilling. These cuts are not able to be dried out by prolonged cooking. The rugged, collagen-rich beef cuts like the chuck, brisket, and shanks are best suited for the stewing pot. Prolonged exposure to gentle heat will melt the chewy collagen to silky and soft gelatin.
How much meat an animal has eaten during its lifetime is a significant factor in how tough it is. This is because the collagen in more hardworking muscles builds up faster, making them more challenging and decisive. Conversely, the muscles of animals that rely on less collagen are more fragile and have a more incredible tenderness.
Lomo saltado prefers strips of tenderloin, sirloin, and other well-known cuts of steak like the strip. Although tenderloin is the best choice, it is more expensive and has a less intense flavor than some other cuts. However, if you want buttery-soft meat, this is the best choice.
While sirloin can also be used, it is more susceptible to drying out and becoming tougher if left to heat for longer than necessary. The skirt steak is my favorite quick-cooking cut. It has more chew but delivers the beefiest flavor.
As I was browsing the internet trying to find Peruvian wisdom about the best cuts of beef for lomo Salado, I found it. It is a video by Gaston Acurio in which he meets a butcher and tells him the huachalomo cut is the best.
Huachalomo comes from the chuck, a tough primal cut that includes the neck and shoulder of the cow. The chuck is composed of many muscles. Some of these muscles can be tender if they are separated from the rest. Despite many web searches and pleas on social media for help, as well as a visit to my local Colombian butcher, it was impossible to determine what the huachalomo was. It could be the teres minor, which is often called the “faux filet” because of its tender texture.
The teres minor would indeed make an excellent option for lomo Salado. However, you will need to be very careful not to get any chuckles. After a short discussion with the Colombian butcher, I was given some chuck. He said it would suit lomo Salado, but it made a very gristly batch.
Whatever beef you choose, ensure that it is properly cut by cutting it in thin strips against the grain. It means perpendicularly to the direction where the muscle fibers run. You can see how I do it with beef tenderloin in the photo. The photo below shows me doing it with a skirt steak. First, I divide it into manageable pieces and crosscut those sections against the grain to make strips.
Peruvian Lomo Saltado: Step by Step
Stir-fry the lomo saltado. It is key to making excellent lomo salatado. It’s not easy for most home kitchens as they don’t have enough firepower to heat a wok sufficiently and keep it warm. You don’t need a wok. A large skillet made of stainless steel or cast iron can be used. However, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how to stir-fry at home.
Stir-fry the ingredients in small batches. The heat of your burner will determine how small the batches are. I have high-powered burners at work and home, which give me heat. However, it is not as intense as what a wok requires. This dish was made by me using my burners. I divided the beef and onion into two batches. You may need to divide the onions and beef into thirds if your home range produces a weaker output. It doesn’t matter how many batches you make; it will only affect the time required to prepare the recipe.
Stir-frying small quantities is necessary to preserve the unique flavor that high-heat wok cooks impart to food. This term is also known as wok hei. It refers to the unique flavor of deep-searing, the combustion of fat droplets, and deep-searing. Too much food in the wok will cause the temperature to drop, and your food will steam instead of sear. It will result in no working heat.
After thoroughly stir-frying everything, it is time to return everything to the wok for a final toss.
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Step 1: Stir fry the beef
Place your pan or wok over the highest heat setting on your stove. Leave it there until smoke rises from its surface. Then, let the oil smoke heavily by adding some oil.
It’s a great time to talk about fire safety. Wok cooking is high-heat cooking. If you do it correctly, you won’t be flirting with setting fire to things. Instead, you may intentionally fire the food, provided that you use a gas range.
You don’t need to. There are many good reasons not to allow flames to shoot up from your home’s pan. You can reduce the heat to a lower level if you are nervous about the idea. However, you won’t get the same flavor, and you won’t have to attempt something that could be dangerous or downright frightening.
You should plan if you want to make a stir-fry with flames. You should also learn about kitchen fire safety to ensure you are ready to respond in an emergency.
Now, let’s get back to the beef. The oil and the wok should now be erupting with smoke. Season the beef with salt, and then add enough meat to the pan to ensure that the meat sears well without getting too charred. Place the pieces in an even layer, so there is plenty of space between them. After the first side has charred and sizzled, leave the beef alone for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Start tossing the beef. Now tilt the wok toward the flame, so the oil mist catches fire. The result will be dramatic, with vast explosions of flame as the oil burns. They won’t last very long and usually, go out of control within seconds of being caught. You can continue tossing the beef and igniting it if you keep doing so. It is the key to achieving the best flavor.
Once the beef has been seared on all sides and no longer looks raw, place it on a heatproof plate to rest. Continue this step of stir-frying with the rest of the beef.
After a few minutes, you will notice that the beef has begun to release its juices. These juices are crucial to the sauce Lomo saltado, so save them.
Step 2: Sear The Red Onion
Once the beef is done, you can return the wok to the stove and heat some oil to get it hot again. Then, once again, work in batches to sear the red onions.
It is where you have to achieve a specific goal: deep browning and charring on some of the onion slices while still retaining some crispness. Lomo saltado is not stuffed with mushy vegetables. They should instead be tender when the dish is done.
Two factors are crucial to creating the right texture. The first factor is the size of the onions and other vegetables. They should be cut thick enough to prevent them from becoming too soft during the cooking process.
The second option is small-batch stir-frying. If you overcrowd your pan, the vegetables will steam in their moisture and not be seared. Make sure to add enough onion to each batch so the vegetables will sear, and then fry in the oil.
Once you get some browning on the onions and they are done, transfer them to another platter. Repeat the process with the rest of the onions.
Step 3: Stir fry the remaining vegetables
We are now at the end of the game. Sear the scallions when the wok is back to its super-heated stage with smoke billowing. They will soften quickly, so use the smallest batch possible to avoid steaming.
Add the pepper. These will be thin strips made from aji Amarillo peppers. This Peruvian chili pepper is fruity and floral. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find them fresh in US markets. However, an excellent Latin grocery store or supermarket often has bags of whole peppers in their freezer section. Defrost the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Then cut them into strips by cutting them lengthwise. If you don’t have any aji Amarillo, you can substitute them with a mixture of red bell peppers and jalapenos.
Add the tomatoes. Because the tomatoes are so watery, it is challenging to sear them. You will need to decide if you want to do this while the scallions, peppers, and other ingredients are still in the wok. Or if you prefer to break it down into smaller groups to improve your chances of getting a good sear.
You don’t want the tomatoes to turn to mush so avoid overcooking them. Now is the time to add the last aromatics, ginger, and minced garlic. Toss them in for a quick saute.
Step 4: Combine it all and finish the sauce.
The final move is now. Now, it’s time to finish the job. While distilled white vinegar worked well for me, a Peruvian friend recommended that I use apple cider vinegar to test the recipe. It has a more balanced acidity and a richer flavor. In addition, a flavorful brown sauce will form as the oils, beef juices, and soy sauce blend together.
Add salt to the mixture, some freshly ground black pepper, and a big pinch of minced fresh coriander, and then you are done. Take it out of your work and transfer it to the plates.
Step 5: Do You Want Fries with That? You can also have rice.
You are almost done. You’re almost done. Lomo Salado must be served with French fries. You can also toss the fries and all the other ingredients in the wok. The fries will be soggy (gross) but covered in sauce (kinda amazing). You can also pile them on the side for crispy fries, then dip them in the sauce while you eat.
Peruvian fries are commonly prepared as thick steak fries using yellow potatoes. You can choose any kind of fries, but homemade is the best. We have all the information you need to make crispy, thin, and delicious fries.
Rice is the best accompaniment to a proper plate of lomo Salado. Although adding one starch over another may seem excessive, it is part of the dish’s flavor. Lomo saltado was created by the Chinese. Therefore, rice is an essential part of any meal. The same goes for the Peruvians, who helped to create it. Both are perfectly acceptable, so it is a good idea to have both.
- 1 lb (450g) beef tenderloin or skirt steak or any other tender, flavorful, quick-cooking meat
- 1/4 cup (60ml) peanut, canola, or vegetable oil, divided, plus more if needed
- Kosher salt
- One medium (8-ounce/225g) red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices.
- Four scallions (approximately 2 ounces/ 60% g total), roots, and wilted areas trimmed, remaining cut into 2-inch lengths.
- One fresh or frozen aji Amarillo chili pepper (about two ounces/ sixty g), frozen if possible, then stemmed and seeded. Finally, cut lengthwise into matchsticks. (see notes).
- Two medium plum tomatoes, approximately 5 1/2 ounces/160g each, cored and cut into 3/4 inch-thick wedges.
- Two medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger (about 1/4 ounce; 7g), minced
- One tablespoon plus one teaspoon (20ml) of soy sauce
- One tablespoon (15ml) of apple cider vinegar
- Two tablespoons minced fresh herbs stems and tender stems.
- Freshly ground black pepper.
- French fries for serving.
- Cooked long-grain rice for serving
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- Slice the beef across the grain into strips about 1/2 inch thick
- Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in a large skillet, cast iron pan, or stainless steel wok until smoking. Season the beef with salt.
- Add just enough beef to the skillet to brown it nicely. Place the beef in a single layer and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Toss the beef until it is cooked, approximately 30 seconds more. If you’re working on a gas flame, and don’t mind a little fire, place the beef close to the flame to ignite the oil in short bursts. If this makes you anxious, don’t let it catch fire. To prevent flare-ups, you can manage heat. Transfer the beef to a plate to rest using a spatula. Continue with the remaining beef. Ensure the pan is smoking hot before adding oil to the next batch.
- Once all the beef has been cooked, heat the pan on high. Heat one tablespoon (15ml of oil) until the beef is browned. In batches, add enough red onion to quickly brown and sear the onion without steaming. This takes about 30 seconds. Stir the onion several times until it becomes crisp-tender. Transfer the onion to a plate using a spatula. Please continue with the remaining onions, heating the pan until it reaches the smoking point and adding oil as needed.
- Heat the pan on high heat again, add one tablespoon (15ml) oil, and heat to smoking. If necessary, cook the scallions in batches. Add peppers and push scallions to one side. Cook for about 30 seconds more.
- Allow the scallions, peppers, and tomatoes to be pushed to one side. Then, add the tomatoes to the pan and allow them to sear on the other side for about 30 seconds. Remove the scallions from the pan to ensure good searing if your burner isn’t potent. If they don’t get browned, you can leave them in. Avoid letting tomatoes get too soft and pulpy. It’s better to keep them from becoming mushy.
- Stir in ginger and garlic. Cook for about 15 seconds, stirring continuously. Toss in the soy sauce, vinegar, and salt.
- Add the beef and accumulated juices to the pan with the red onion. If you still need to remove the scallions or peppers, they can be added back to the pan. Add cilantro. Mix well on high heat. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Turn off the heat.
- Serve stir-fry on plates with a heap of French fries and cooked rice.