I know nobody apart from me cares but I have to say it: this post does not follow the strict chronological order of the blog. I felt forced to let go of my obsession because of an issue with my camera’s memory card (with photos for two posts) and decided to keep blogging using other camera while trying to recover the lost pics.
Disclosure aside, let’s dive into this post’s business: Peruvian food. Lomo saltado (beef tenderloin stir-fry), one of my favourite dishes, was born as a fusion between Chinese techniques and Spanish/Peruvian ingredients. It’s prepared in a flash with just a few ingredients, which means that technique is important to get it right.
The basic components of the dish are beef tenderloin, red onions, tomatoes, garlic, chillies, soy sauce and vinegar. You can use any tender cut of beef or even pre-cut stir-fry beef. You can replace beef with kangaroo, chicken, fish, seafood, shiitake mushrooms, soy fake meat (although I don’t endorse it any more), or anything you fancy. Some people use a mix of light and dark soy sauce, some add oyster sauce, some add stock. White or red wine vinegar work equally well (I know someone who uses balsamic… overkill IMO).
Of course the sides are starch + starch: potato chips and white rice (the chips in the photo look weird because they were steamed and then pan-fried in a tiny bit of ghee, the rice was cooked as usual with sautéed garlic and salt). There’s a controversy about how to serve the chips: if on the side or mixed with the stir-fry (and thus soaked by the sauce). I’m with the people who say it’s better to serve them on the side and let the diners decide if they want to soak them or not.
Lomo saltado (Peruvian beef stir-fry)
Yield: 4 servings
- 600 gr beef tenderloin
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large red onion
- 1-2 fresh chillies (optional)
- 4 tomatoes
- ghee or fat of choice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- salt and pepper
- coriander, parsley or green onions, to serve (optional)
- potato chips, to serve (optional)
- white rice, to serve (optional)
- Have your chips and rice ready to go. Also pick and chop your herb of choice.
- Cut beef against the grain in strips (stir-fry size).
- Peel and mince garlic and toss on beef, along with some cracked black pepper. Give it a rub and set aside.
- Cut onion in half. Discard core and cut in thick wedges, separating each layer.
- Seed chillies and cut in long strips.
- Cut tomatoes in 6 – 8 wedges each. Remove seeds.
- Heat up your fat of choice in a wok. When super hot, throw in the beef and stir-fry for a few seconds, until cooked on the outside.
- Add onions and chillies, stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add tomatoes, stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce, stir-fry for a few seconds. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve with chopped herbs on top, potato chips and white rice on the side.