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, aji (Peruvian chili) and meat with the Chinese style 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 or sirloin with red onions, tomatoes and aji amarillo (yellow Peruvian chilies) 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 my quick and simple to prepare recipe for authentic Peruvian Lomo Saltado. All ingredients can be found easily, no matter where in the world you live; 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.