As a chef, I’m constantly researching and trying new dishes. No matter where I am in the world, I’ll always make time to explore local cuisine and ingredients. A recent dish that stuck with me, mainly because of the ingredients was lomo saltado. Literally translated to English it means “jumped loin.”
Oddly enough, when I was in my hometown in Jordan I managed to find all of the ingredients needed for this traditional Peruvian dish. Thanks to the explorers, I guess? So I assume you’ll manage to find these ingredients wherever you are too.
Lomo saltado is from Peru’s fusion cuisine called chifa. It mixes Chinese Cantonese cooking techniques, stir fry in this case, with Peruvian ingredients. This happened in the late 19th and early 20th century when waves of Chinese immigrant workers settled in Peru. Imagine the best quality ingredients combined with the best cooking techniques and ta-da! You’ve probably got one of the earliest fusion cuisines.
First time I ate traditional lomo saltado
The flavors of lomo saltado are very balanced. The caramelization from the stir-fried sirloin/protein and onion slices is then deglazed with fresh tomatoes and soy sauce. And served over crispy hand-cut potatoes to make it even more irresistible.
This dish would not be what it is without the quick stir fry cooking technique. Nor would it be what it is without the use of tomatoes and potatoes, which were not found in other parts of the world!
Writing about this dish reminded me of one of my favorite dishes my grandmother Nahla made, kafta ma’a batata (meatballs with potatoes). What I loved the most about the way she did it was how crunchy she kept the potatoes. I am still working on recreating it, and I just had a breakthrough! Follow the recipe below to see if you can get the balance of flavors and crunch just right.
Karmah’s Lomo Saltado Recipe
For the fries
- 4.5lbs (2 kg) potatoes
- 4 cps (1 lt) canola/vegetable oil
- Salt for seasoning
For the stir fry
- Cooking oil
- 500gr (1lb) beef sirloin or maitake mushrooms & jackfruit for VG (cut in strips)
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 5 ripe tomatoes (deseeded and cut in strips - save juice & seeds)
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- Tomato seed water
Scrub and slice potatoes, keep in water if not planning to cook right away.
Blanch fries at 265°F/130°C for 8 minutes. Cook potatoes until they look lightly golden.
Remove from oil and lay on a tray to cool down.
Before serving heat oil until at 356°F/180°C. If no thermometer is available, make sure it’s hot but not smoking. You can sacrifice a hand-cut fry to test it out as well. It should bubble and float to the top after a few seconds. Fry the blanched potatoes until golden and crispy. Season and plate.
Heat the pan with oil add your meat or alternative protein, give it a nice caramelized color. Remove from pan, and add the onions and scrape all the flavor on the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Deglaze with the sauces and tomatoes and return the protein to the pan. Serve on top of fresh fries.
Did you know you can reuse used vegetable oil if treated well?
Just make sure you do not discard it in the drain by any means.
Try adding my sauces to your lomo saltado to give it an extra zing
Sauces for your lomo saltado
Lime Chili Sauce
- 1 tbs garlic minced
- 2 tbs lime juice
- 2 pc fresh green or red chili (adjust to your preference)
- Pinch of salt
Use pestle and mortar, or buzz in a blender, or chop by hand.
Cilantro Tomato Chili Sauce
- 1/3 cup (40gr) cilantro
- 4pc large tomato
- 3pc fresh green or red chili (adjust to your preference)
- Pinch of salt
Wash cilantro and dry and buzz in the blender or finely chop by hand.
Serve these sauces on the side with the dish, if you want a more aioli based then add those flavors to your preferred aioli sauce.