Lomo Saltado is a Chinese-Peruvian hybrid dish created by Chinese immigrants who moved to South America. The dish combines American ingredients, like potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, with Chinese ingredients and techniques, like soy sauce and stir-frying. Some versions call for tossing the French fries directly into the stir fry while others put the fries on the side. We like crispy fries so I chose to put them on the side.
This dish is my oldest son’s favorite to order from Alpaca, a Peruvian restaurant chain near us. He asked if I could make it at home and I immediately checked Serious Eats to see if Kenji had a recipe, because that is my go to when making something I haven’t made before at home. So much research and trial and error goes into his recipes, you know they are going to be good.
I used his perfect thin and crispy fry recipe too for this. That recipe involves boiling and par frying the fries the day before, then freezing overnight before a final fry when ready to eat. We did really like them and found them to be nice and crispy and I liked that all I had to do was the final, quick fry when ready to serve.
I used sirloin for the steak here, and I couldn’t find Aji peppers so I used a combo of jalapenos and red bell peppers which worked great. I did use a wok, and I think if you can use one, it really helps get the right kind of cook on the steak and veggies. This dish could be a big let down if the components aren’t cooked in the right way.
We totally loved this recipe and my kids immediately said it needed to be something we eat again as soon as they started eating, always a good sign a dish has been successful. 🙂
For the stir fry:
- 2 lbs beef tenderloin, sirloin, skirt steak or other tender cut trimmed and cut against the grain into 1/2 inch slices
- 1/2 cup canola oil give or take
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 medium red onions peeled and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
- 8 scallions trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded and cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper cored and cut into thin slices
- 4 plum tomatoes cored and cut into wedges
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the fries:
- 4 large russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick fries and placed into bowl of water
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- oil for frying
- cooked long grain white rice
- fresh cilantro minced
For the fries:
- Place potatoes and vinegar in a saucepan and add 2 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on a paper towel–lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large wok over high heat to 400°F. Add one-third of fries to oil; oil temperature should drop to around 360°F. Cook for 50 seconds, agitating occasionally with a strainer spoon, then remove to a second paper towel–lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potatoes (working in 2 more batches), allowing oil to return to 400°F after each addition. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 3, or, for best results, freeze potatoes at least overnight or up to 2 months.
- Return oil to 400°F over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown, about 2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a temperature of around 360°F. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels and season immediately with kosher salt. Cooked fries can be kept hot and crisp on a wire rack set in a sheet tray in a 200°F oven while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.
For the stir fry:
- Cut the beef across the grain into roughly 1/2-inch-thick strips.
- In a wok or large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until heavily smoking. Meanwhile, season beef all over with salt.
- Working in batches, add just enough beef to the pan to sear it heavily without steaming in its own juices. Spread the beef around so the pieces are evenly spaced apart and allow to cook until very well seared and charred on one side, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir and toss beef so that it cooks all over, about 30 seconds longer; if you are working over a gas flame and aren't afraid of some fire, toss the beef near the flame so that the oil briefly combusts in big bursts. (If this makes you nervous, don't allow it to catch fire. Instead, manage the heat to prevent flare-ups.) Using a spatula, transfer beef to a platter to rest. Repeat with remaining beef, always getting the pan smoking-hot before the next batch and adding more oil if needed.
- When all the beef is cooked, return the empty pan to high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until smoking. Working in batches, add just enough red onion so that it sears and browns rapidly without steaming, about 30 seconds. Toss a few times until the onion is crisp-tender. Using a spatula, transfer onion to a platter. Repeat with remaining onion, always heating the pan until smoking first and adding more oil if necessary.
- Return the empty pan to high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, and heat until smoking. Working in batches if necessary, add scallions and cook, without stirring, until seared on bottom side, about 30 seconds. Push scallions to the side and add peppers. Cook until seared, about 30 seconds longer.
- Push scallions and peppers to the side and add tomatoes to the pan, allowing them to sear on one side, about 30 seconds. (If your burner isn't very strong, you can remove the scallions and peppers from the pan before adding the tomatoes to guarantee good searing. Otherwise, leave them in.) Try not to let the tomatoes grow too soft and pulpy; it's better that they retain their shape rather than brown to the point of becoming mushy.
- Add garlic and ginger and cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until lightly sautéed and fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add soy sauce and vinegar and toss to combine.
- Return beef and all accumulated juices to the pan along with the red onions. (If you've removed the scallions and peppers, add them back now, too.) Add cilantro. Toss over high heat to combine well, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Remove from heat.
- Spoon stir-fry onto plates with a mound of cooked rice and French fries and serve right away.