Peruvian cuisine: Lomo Saltado
When traveling in Peru you will be able to enjoy and try the amazing Peruvian cuisine. One of those very famous Peruvian dishes, next to the typical Peruvian fish-dish called “ Ceviche”, is the so called “ Lomo Saltado”. You will find this on the menu of the mayority, not to say all Peruvian restaurnants (with exception of the vegetarian ones). Lomo Saltado is also a dish people like to prepare at home, for their friends and families. The basic ingredient of this dish are slices of sirloin meat and it is served together with onions, fried potatoes, tomatoes and rice. The slices meat, mostly sirloin meat or beef tenderloin, are being marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. After this French fries, (red) onions, tomatoes and fresh parsley are added. It’s served with white rice and it’s the favorite dish of many people in Peru.
The origin and tradition
Lomo saltado is a mix of different cultures, together with indigenous Peruvian potatoes. It is a stir fry dish, which indicates that it is also influenced by the Asian cuisine. This influence origins back to many years in history. In the 19th century there was many trade and migration happening on the Pacific Ocean. Among others, the commercial agriculture in the coast of Peru was growing. A bigger workforce was needed and that’s why many Chinese came across the ocean to Peru. Over time, this group is immerged in the Peruvian population and now people call this mixture of different cultures – Hispanic, African, Caribean, Asian – on the Peruvian coast, especially in Lima, the creole culture, or, la cultura criolla.
During the years, these different Chinese cooking techniques were mixed with the Peruvian and new dishes were created. The Asian wok was used for the preparation of meat, and merged with the Peruvian preparation of (sweet) potatoes. This is how now wel known Peruvian dishes called “saltados” or stir fry dishes were introduced. Despite this origin, nowadays the saltados are considered part of typical, national Peruvian cuisine. In Peru there is also another tradition of Chinese food, which is called ‘chifa’ (which is, actually, the Mandarin word for ‘’to eat’’).
Variations of Lomo Saltado
As is mentioned before, beef is the meat that is mostly used in a lomo saltado, but it can easily be replaced by chicken, which converts the ‘lomo saltado’, into a “pollo saltado”. Or, instead of the potatoes, the meat can be prepared with vegetables and noodles; now we call it “tallarin saltado”. With Peruvian cuisine becoming more famous all over the world, lomo saltado is being prepared and adapted now in different countries. In Peru however, people maintain the tradition of the dish and prefer to have not too many variations. But elsewhere some alternations are needed as original ingredients are not always available. The traditional ingredients of the Peruvian lomo saltado are: beef tenderloin, onions, fresh aji amarillo, Peruvian yellow chili pepper, tomatoes, fresh parsley, vinegar, soy sauce, white rice and potatoes. To keep the dish traditional but a little less spicy, the yellow chili pepper can be replaced for a green chili pepper.