My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Experimenting with Lomo Saltado

Posted on | July 13, 2011 | 24 Comments


Lomo saltado
Can I be honest here? Can I?

Because if I’m being completely honest, I’d have to say that there are times when I get tired of eating Peruvian food.

Not that there aren’t hundreds of delicious dishes to try! And the spices and condiments are used in some pretty wonderful ways.

The problem for me is the meals themselves. It seems like everything is a piece of meat or chicken, a big portion of rice and some potatoes. Sometimes the potatoes have sauce on them, or sometimes they’re switched out for yams or yuca; but generally, the meals don’t have a lot of variety other than the cooking method of the main dish.

But I do love the main dishes and flavors, so something I like to do is find new ways to serve Peruvian favorites.  That way, my family is happy with the flavors they’re used to but I get a little bit of the variety I crave. One of my favorite dishes to play with is Lomo Saltado, mostly because it lends itself so well to experimentation.  The beef, onion and tomato mixture works well with so many things.  Here’s the basic recipe for starting:

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil
  • 1 lb stir fry beef
  • 1 onion, julienned in thin slices
  • 1 tomato, julienned, seeds removed
  • 1 aji amarillo, julienned in thin strips
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • parsley, chives – optional
Instructions:
  1. Heat a little bit of oil in a large frying pan or wok.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper, then stir fry in the oil.  Add a tablespoon or so of the soy sauce.  Remove the beef, and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, stir fry the vegetables with another tbsp or so of soy sauce until tender but not mushy.
  4. Add in the beef,  add a dash of parsley and chopped chives if you wish, and stir it all together.
You can use this mixture for a couple of yummy dishes.
  • Lomo Cheesesteak – split a fresh roll (pan frances or a longer hoagie style roll) and fill with the meat mixture.  Put a slice of your favorite cheese or shredded mozzarella on top, and put under the broiler until the cheese melts.  Serve with homestyle fries.
  • Lomo Wrap – Wrap the mixture burrito style in a large flour tortilla with shredded cheese.
  • Lomo Pizza – Make or buy a pizza crust, top with your favorite sauce, layer with mozzarella and the lomo mixture, bake until the crust is crispy.
Apart from experimenting with lomo saltado,  I like to put Huancaina sauce on hamburgers, and love to have leftover aji de gallina on toast – someday I’m going to try it over home made biscuits.
Have you experimented with any Peruvian foods? Do you have any personal favorite combinations you’ve come up with?
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Comments

24 Responses to “Experimenting with Lomo Saltado”

  1. Eunnice
    July 13th, 2011 @ 21:52

    I put Huancaina sauce on everything! I especially like it as a dip for tortilla chips. Since Peruvian dishes are pretty starchy, I usually omit somethng. So for lomo I’d only have the fries or only the rice. I prefer to keep the fries because It’s pretty boring without. :)

  2. Abe
    July 14th, 2011 @ 00:21

    I am all about getting tired of Meat and Potatos with the big helping of rice. Even here in Alaska, Maria (wife Peruvian wife) is sticking with traditional food. Once a week I speak up an say “Let’s get Pizza”.
    I love the food she cooks don’t get me wrong but I ate more rice in one month with her then I had eaten the the previous 44 years

  3. Maria
    July 14th, 2011 @ 10:48

    Well, Abe, join the club. My husband told me he also had never eaten so much rice in his whole life before meeting me! LOL

    Nice variations, Kelly. Have you tried to do your empanadas with lomo saltado, aji de gallina too? Would you mind sharing your tips if you do?

  4. Kelly
    July 14th, 2011 @ 11:36

    Thanks for the comments! Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets a little overwhelmed by all the carbs!

    Maria, I had an empanada with aji de gallina the other day, and it was delicious – but with lomo sounds even better! If I ever get around to making some, I’ll give that a try.

  5. Mom
    July 14th, 2011 @ 16:38

    Now you’ve got me craving the greatest fries in the world….sorry MacDonalds.

  6. Kelly
    July 15th, 2011 @ 09:53

    This is hysterical! I really thought I was the only expat who suffered the food problem. I also crave pizza a lot, which my husband finds odd. I try to explain to him that pizza is our ceviche.

    In order to get some other nutrients in my diet (and satisfy my need for diverse food), I often do my own Peruvian rendition of recipes on this site: http://www.simplyrecipes.com. Since available (or cheap) products tend to vary, you’ll end up adapting them a bit and they come out nicely. Here are some of the recipes from that site that have gone over really well with my Peruvian audience:

    Black Bean Soup
    Bruschetta (uncommon here)
    Albondigas Soup
    Stuffed Zucchini
    Mango Chicken Curry

    I also make a cherry crumble using aguaymanto and pineapple – comes out delicious.

  7. Kelly
    July 15th, 2011 @ 10:30

    Thanks for the linkage – I’ll have to give some of those a try. Some of the things I cook that go over really well are – anything Italian, meat loaf, US style mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes (au gratin, too!( and hey.. bean soups!

  8. Alex
    July 15th, 2011 @ 11:09

    last month i came to the same idea to give to classic combinations a twist. so we baked some lomo saltado empanadas. they were delicious. the only thing you have to mind is to cut the beef, aji and tomatoes in little cubes instead of juliennes etc. it’s also very good when you include some fried potato cubes in it (instead the long fries).

    greetings, a

  9. Daniela
    July 15th, 2011 @ 18:49

    I’m peruvian and I’m always cooking peruvian dishes for my family! And I agree thatit feels like there isn’t a lot of variety since its always paired with rice or potatoes and the “adreso” is pretty similar to all the dishes but I am so accustomed to it, I don’t complain ha.

    One thing my mom would prepare differently was she would cook on a weekend morning and prepare lomo saltado with out the fries and we would eat it with french bread like a sub. The french bread taste so good with it, especially when its soaked in juice of the lomo!

    Maybe another dish to try to cook, which is one of my favorites, locro de zapallo :)

  10. Kelly
    July 15th, 2011 @ 19:34

    Thanks for commenting, Daniela. You know, I have a recipe for locro de zapallo, but I’ve never tried it before. Maybe I should give it a go – I usually like to get my mother-in-law to cook something for me first, so i can see what it’s supposed to look and taste like before I try cooking it myself. ;)

  11. Rachel
    July 17th, 2011 @ 02:12

    Well,I’m not Peruvian, but I play one on TV…just kidding :)Kelly!

    On my end, I am seriously tired of American and Middle Eastern food; I guess you get tired of anything if you don’t switch off once in a while.

    So to me, all of these Peruvian dishes look absolutely HEAVENLY. Really, my taste buds are watering now.

    I’m going to try this recipe for lunch today -looking forward to something other than pasta (my husband loves it).

  12. Kelly
    July 17th, 2011 @ 11:10

    That’s true, I remember back in Florida there were times when nothing sounded good. If I could pick one thing that I’m sick and tired of though, i’d have to say plain white rice. I’m going to start trying some different versions, with sauces. My kid doesn’t like plain rice much, and will only eat much of it when it’s served with beans or sauces along side so he’ll probably be an easy sell!

  13. Catie
    July 18th, 2011 @ 10:43

    What great Peruvian-fusion ideas! I’ll have to trythem. My hubby is from Peru, so I always make sure the kitchen is stocked with rice and potatoes. Gotta love those carbs! And when we’re in Peru, I make sure to buy a package of tortillas (my idea of comfort food.) I turn almost any dish into a burrito by wrapping it up in tortilla….lomo saltado, aji de gallina, estofado de pollo. I still haven’t made a ceviche burrito though.

  14. Sara
    July 18th, 2011 @ 16:32

    All those things with lomo saltado you think have invented, Peruvians already made at home. So nothig new.

  15. Kelly
    July 19th, 2011 @ 19:04

    @Sara – I guess we know some very different Peruvians, then, I usually get told I’m crazy for these combinations. ;)

    @Catie – True! I can eat just about anything wrapped in a tortilla.

  16. Lucho
    July 25th, 2011 @ 00:55

    Tired of meat, chicken, and potatoes? You cannot seriously talk about Peruvian food if you don’t mention seafood. I was 10 weeks in Peru last year, and I ate seafood for 7 of those ten weeks. How about some jalea, pescado sudado, caballa seca con sarsa, pescado a lo macho, etc.? You can eat them with sarandaja and chifles as they do in northern Peru (Potatoes are not as popular there). Other non-seafood dishes you could try include majao de yuca and seco de chavelo. The latter includes dry meat (cecina). None of these dishes require rice.
    Have you tried cuy, alpaca, cabrito, chancho, cordero, conejo or are they included in what you call meat? You may not find these dishes in the fancy restaurants in Miraflores and San Isidro or in the S/. 10 menús people eat throughout the city, but there are plenty of huariques in Lima (Lince is a good place to look for them). Just ask people for the best picantería (not restaurante) piurana, chiclayana, trujillana, etc.

  17. Kelly
    July 25th, 2011 @ 01:38

    I’m a big seafood lover – I was born and grew up on the beach. We usually go out for ceviche and jalea on the weekends. (I just did a restaurant review of the cevicheria we went to last time we went out). But I have a family – I can’t cook seafood every day or they’ll mutiny.

    Trust me, after 7+ years, I have tried cuy, alpaca, cabrito, etc. But they aren’t typical meats that I pick up at the market to cook (well, except for chancho – that’s just pork) – especially conejo, since we have a pet one jumping around the backyard. ;).

    I’m talking about home cooking here, not going out to restaurants. And the typical home cooked meal in this part of Peru has a big plate of rice with some meat and potatoes, maybe some beans. I realize that there’s a ton of variety in Peruvian food – it’s the typical meal, not the food and spices, that I’m looking for a change to. ;)

  18. Gaby
    July 28th, 2011 @ 12:19

    It looks like you’ve gotten a lot of comments already but I wanted to give you my two cents. I’m japanese/peruvian and if you live near lima anyway you’ll find a big japanese and chinese populations. Our family dinners had the regular staples but also a few asian infused dishes. Lomo saltado is after all a stir-fry. Sushi with platanos fritos is the most amazing thing ever and so distinctly japanese/peruvian.

  19. Kelly
    July 29th, 2011 @ 12:20

    There’s always room for more comments! Tiradito is another great J/P ceviche fusion.

  20. Samantha Bangayan
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 22:17

    Haha! I hear ya on the rice and potatoes bit, Kelly! =P I can’t do two carbs together like that. =P

    What a great idea about the lomo wrap, btw! =) Roy and I are making the milanesa version of your lomo cheesesteak a lot these days! =)

  21. Kelly
    August 3rd, 2011 @ 23:03

    Ooh… that milanesa sounds good! I make sandwiches with edam cheese on them for the boys sometimes in the evening. I bet I could cut them in strips, fry them up and make a crispy chicken wrap….

  22. Michelle
    September 8th, 2012 @ 16:29

    I found your site when looking for peruvian recipes and I am hooked on your blogs! I guess you could call me an expat. I was born in Lima and lived there until I was 7, when I moved to Florida, where I have been living for 13 years. Your blog is a really refreshing view on Peruvians, the food, and their quirks. I consider myself a gringa so I can kind of relate.
    But on this note…the delicious salsa on top of chorritos a la chalaca is AMAZING with tortilla chips. It’s like the most delicious version pico de gallo ever made. It is a must try.

    Thank you for entertaining me! (:

  23. Kelly
    September 9th, 2012 @ 17:08

    Oh wow – never thought of that! Sounds delicious – we’ll have to give it a try!

  24. ed
    January 20th, 2013 @ 15:14

    no problem, Kelly, Peruvian food is also based on foreign influence, so you can change it at will, and hopefully will leave an invention tasty.

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    About

    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.


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