What is Lomo Saltado?

C. Ausbrooks

Lomo saltado is a Peruvian dish consisting of sautéed strips of beef tenderloin, vegetables, and potatoes. The dish clearly has Asian influences, with its beef strips first marinated in soy sauce and other spices. The beef is then stir-fried with the vegetables, and the entire dish is served over white rice and topped with fried potatoes or French fries.

White rice serves as the base for lomo saltado.
White rice serves as the base for lomo saltado.

One of the most popular dishes in Peru, lomo saltado has also become popular around the world. There are many different variations of the recipe, as it has been adapted for different countries and cultures. In Peru, the feelings are strong in favor of keeping the dish traditional, but it’s not always possible in other countries due to the ingredients required.

Lomo saltado is often topped with parsley.
Lomo saltado is often topped with parsley.

Traditional ingredients for lomo saltado include beef tenderloin cut into strips, onion, fresh aji amarillo or Peruvian yellow chili pepper, tomatoes, fresh parsley, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, white rice, and potatoes. In several variations, the yellow chili pepper is omitted or substituted with green chilies. This is not traditional, but is popular for Western palates when less spice is required or yellow chili peppers are not available. A more Asian inspired, and also nontraditional, version of lomo saltado requires omitting the tomatoes and parsley, and replacing them with strips of green pepper and garlic.

To make lomo saltado the Peruvian way, cut approximately two pounds (0.9 kilograms) of beef tenderloin into strips, and marinate in vinegar and soy sauce for at least an hour. Sautee the beef strips in vegetable oil with salt and pepper to taste. Garlic or cumin may also be added to taste for additional spice at this stage. Remove the beef from the pan, and add one large onion that has been cut into strips. Fry until transparent, adding additional oil if required.

Next, add three large tomatoes that have been cut into strips, and one aji amarillo. Sautee with the onion until the tomato is tender, and then add approximately ¼ cup (59 ml) of vinegar and a dash of soy sauce. Add the beef strips, and a 16 ounce (454 gram) package of frozen French fries. Cover the pan, and simmer all ingredients for approximately three minutes, or until the beef is done. Fresh potatoes may also be used instead of frozen, if desired.

To serve the lomo saltado, it should be seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, poured over cooked white rice, and topped with chopped, fresh parsley. In some recipes, the potatoes are added as a topping, instead of being cooked with the other ingredients. This is typically left to personal preference, and both methods are traditional.

Lomo saltado includes fried potatoes.
Lomo saltado includes fried potatoes.

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