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Peruvian Saltado Recipes - with PHOTOS

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I thought I'd share this recipe with you all. It is for Peruvian saltado (a stir fry of meats (anything from steak, to chicken, to seafood) with french fries, tomatoes, red onions, green onions, red bell peppers, cilantro - all seasoned with cumin, soy and paprika). The trick is to first marinade the meats in soy sauce and stir fry the meats in a ultra hot wok or pan (in small batches), thus getting a nice caramelization and searing.


2 garlic cloves minced
1 red onion cut into small wedges (separate from each layer)
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of diced green onions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 cup of frozen french fries (not shoestring fries)
soy sauce
black pepper
white wine vinegar
peanut or cooking oil
a few ounces of steak, cut into strips
a few ounces of chicken, cut into strips
a few ounces of seafood (from seafood mix or fresh shrimp)

In a bowl or ziplock bag, place meats and pour a few tablespoons of soy sauce, a few healthy dashes of cumin, and paprika to marinade. Leave for 15 minutes or more. In the meantime, in a wok or deep bottomed pot, heat enough oil to deep fry the frozen french fries (you could also bake the french fries per the instructions on the bag). Cook the fries until crispy golden brown. Drain and reserve french fries.

Heat a second wok (or just drain off all the oil from the first work) until rocket hot. Apply a very thin layer of oil and swirl to coat. Carefully drain each piece meat from the marinade and drop into the hot wok. Do not overcrowd the wok, or you will get a mushy soup instead of a stir fry. Again work in very small batches, the idea is to have very little liquid in the wok so that you get a nice caramelization on the meats. I find it best to just leave the meats to cook without disturbing it for a minute or so per side, to get a light crust to form. Stir fry a few more seconds until aromatic. Remove meat from wok, reserve in bowl.

Heat the same wok until hot (scrape off excess caramelized bits if desired), and apply about a tablespoon of oil. Add minced garlic and stir fry until garlic is just shy of golden brown. Now add the onions and bell peppers. Stir fry a few seconds, but do not allow to wilt. Add a few splashes of soy sauce, and white wine vinegar (not so much that it pools on the bottom). Sprinkle a few liberal pinches of cumin to the onions and stir. Then add the tomatoes and green onions. Sprinkle a few liberal pinches of paprika and stir. You really just want to warm the tomatoes up. Do not to get them too mushy. Now return the cooked meats into the wok and toss to combine. Add the chopped cilantro and then the fries at the last moment. Toss lightly to combine (try not to break the fries).

Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Link: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=yrrnjom....

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  1. Thanks for the recipe and photos. I've never eaten saltado before, but will make this soon. Never one to turn down french fries in my food...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Carb Lover

      unbelievable....my favorite...I had never had Peruvian food before...went to L.A., went to the dregs of the earth neighborhood....took my life in my hands...and had the BEST food ever...Lomo Saltado. I have been trying to find a recipe for months. Thank you.

      1. re: suzanne

        I'm glad. I'm also a recent newbie to Peruvian food. Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what Peruvian cuisine was like. El Pollo Inka and others in L.A. introduced me to this cuisine which is a wonderful combination of Chinese and South American flavors.

        BTW, what I like to do is to serve deep fried sweet plantains as a first course before a meal of saltado.

        Now if only I can find a good recipe for aji, that green sauce they serve up in a squirt bottle at restaurants.

        1. re: elmomonster

          Someone posted the following recipe for the "green sauce" a while back. I haven't tried it but it sounds like it may be the one. I asked a waitress for the recipe one time and even though she didn't know all of the ingredients, she did mention jalapenos and mayo as being part of the recipe.

          In a food processor or blender mix:

          1 cup cilantro
          3 garlic cloves
          1/4 cup almonds
          1 or 2 big jalapenos, depending how hot you want it to be

          Grind all of the above until is is well mixed and blended into a paste. The add:

          3 TBSP mayonaise and 3 TBSP sour cream. Blend again.

          Add pepper and lemon to taste and mix again.

          1. re: Neta

            I know this thread it old BUT just wanted to add my two cents....
            try bread instead of almonds
            and NO sour cream.
            Also add lettuce. The water in the lettuce gets it moving.

          2. re: elmomonster

            I got this recipe from a site some time ago and this tastes exactly like the sauce you get in a Peruvian restaurant. Sounds strange but it does work.

            1 head of lettuce
            1/2 cup mayonnaise
            3 fresh jalapeno peppers
            1 cup white bread cubes, crust removed

            Remove stems from jalapenos. Using tongs, hold the peppers over a stove burner and rotate until roasted, about 1 minute. Delicious, but not necessary.
            Slam your head of lettuce down on the counter stem side down. Pull on the stem to remove the heart and discard. Rip the head of lettuce apart - don't be gentle!
            Place lettuce and jalapenos (use less if 3 is too spicy for you) into a blender or large food processor. Blend on low speed until jalapenos are pleasantly ground up. Add the mayo and pulse until blended in. Gradually blend in bread cubes until you get a nice thick but still pourable consistency. If it gets too thick add more mayo. Taste and blend in more jalapenos if you didn't already.
            Put in a squeeze bottle and serve with your favorite dishes or simply use it for a dip for your bread.

            This info was originall posted (a few small changes) by SOCALTED

      2. Yaaay! Thank you so much for posting this -- I haven't been able to quite describe lomo saltado well enough to recreate it.

        1. One thing I need to add.

          Depending on how strong you want the red onions to be, you can gauge how much you want them to wilt, the fresher you leave them, the hotter they will be. Too hot, and they overpower the other ingredients, too wilted and they will turn to a brown mush. I suggest tasting the onion midway to see if you need to cook it a little longer.

          1. g
            Gina McKinzey

            Hello, I used to eat at El Pollo Inka almost every day when I lived in Redondo Bch. I live far now but would die for just a taste of that food again. My main question to you is, do you know how to make that green sauce they give you to put on your food? I could drink it. If I had that I would die happy.

            Thank you for your time. Gina

            4 Replies
            1. re: Gina McKinzey

              It's called ají and it contains lettuce, chiles and bread among other ingredients, if that helps your searching on Google any. Also, I'm sad to tell you that El Pollo Inka went out of business.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                actually, there is one in torrance. i just had it for the first time this weekend and it was so good! i have been craving it so bad and there are no peruvian restaurants within a hundred miles of where i live. :(

                1. re: nicole0407

                  and one in Hawthrone... staples for any visits to the south bay area for me

                  1. re: IbrahimSS

                    Try Mario's Peruvian on Melrose near Hancock Park in Los Angeles

            2. j
              james douglas

              can you send me a recipe for the INKA "green sauce"

              1. I might be a little late with this, but I found a fabulous aji recipe, for those who'd like to know:

                2 bunches cilantro
                1/2 cup olive oil
                3 jalapenos, quartered
                1/2 tsp salt water (as needed)

                Puree them altogether and add/subtract water for desired consistency.

                1. Thanks for the recipe, but you forgot to include aji panca as the marinade and for stir frying the meats. Although a bit hard to find you could find panca, typically specialty spice stores carry it. Also, red vinegar is recommended for red meats and it does not require red peppers for saltado Limeño; however, it does add a nice taste. Served with lime wedges.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gypseemoth

                    Oops, I forgot to add that our original 'saltado' recipe does not carry green onions and the red onions are not cut into wedges, but instead as strips to match the form and proportion of the fries.

                    1. re: gypseemoth

                      agree and agree on both strips of red onion and red wine vinegar not white wine vinegar for meat.
                      also, no green/red peppers. aji is also quite important.

                    2. Made this recipe this last weekend, thanks so much, it was great!!! The poster re the red onions was right on, crisp vs cooking. Cheers, Sam

                      1. First off I'd like to say there are many versions of this dish throughout Peru, however, since I lived in Cusco for nine months and worked at a high end Andino restaurant I've had plenty of experience trying Lomo Saltado. In Cusco alone there were many different versions, even soupy ones.

                        First I'd like to address the above recipe, and then the "green sauce".

                        a) Marinating meat for 15 minutes isn't really going to do much for it. We never marinated the tenderloin for this dish.

                        b) I really think every home cook should strive to perfect their stir frying skills and be able to put this dish out hot and without having to cook the meat first or in "batches". Use a large wok and a lot of heat, simple as that.

                        c) I've come across a chicken saltado, but it uses different ingredients, and calls for pasta rather than rice. If the above recipe is suggesting using all three proteins together, I would have to disagree.

                        d) We didn't use frozen french fries, ever. I personally choose large chunks of Yuca that I fried separately and added later. Even with that being said, I rarely added them as it really doesn't add to the flavor, just to the carbs.

                        e) This dish, as far as I found it throughout my time in Cusco, is best when it's not fussy, complex or soupy.

                        f) Where is the hierba buena (mint) ????? That's the most important ingredient in this dish!

                        g) Red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.

                        h) In the kitchen where I worked we never used cilantro, green onion, paprika nor bell pepper for this dish. Simply focused on red onion, tenderloin, tomato, touch of beef broth, hierba buena (mint), and the stir fry with soy and red wine vinegar, which gave it a very bright flavor. You be the judge on what works for you.

                        i) When I made this for myself in the kitchen, I always added some heat to it.

                        Without knowing what they served at your local restaurant, the "green sauce" could have been a huacatay based sauce which is an herb that is similar yet more subtle than hierba buena. Other parts include peanuts, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, bread, broth and heat if you want it. At least that's how we did it in one of the most sought after Andean restaurants in Cusco.

                        We all have different palettes after all, but I thought I should share what I learned... straight from the source.

                        Good luck with your Lomo Saltado cooking.

                        1. I make it with a tablespoon of aji amarillo paste, sold in jars. Often with a glug of oyster sauce. For home use, I use frozen (thick) french fries, cooked in oil before all else. Used to make real french fries or rush home a bag from McDonald's. More trouble than necessary. I like cumin, but not in lomo saltado. I use flap steak cut in half-inch-tick pieces.