Lomo Saltado is a delicious, Peruvian stir-fry made from beef tenderloin, onions, tomatoes, aji amarillo (a yellow chili pepper) and french fries. That’s right! FRENCH FRIES!
The dish’s culinary roots may lie in a mix of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. On the one hand, Lomo Saltado uses quintessentially Peruvian ingredients, such as lomo (beef tenderloin), potatoes and aji amarillo. On the other hand, it is made with soy sauce, often served with white rice and uses Chinese techniques, namely stir-frying in a wok. The blending of the two cultures is often referred to as Chifa. However, as far as I’m told from Peruvians, Lomo Saltado has been around for so long that it’s become part of everyday Peruvian cooking and Chifa has become a standalone cuisine. Regardless of the cultural origins, Lomo Saltado is a fantastic dish that everyone should try!
Lomo Saltado is a great entry point to Peruvian cooking. It’s quick, easy to prepare, remarkably tasty and requires only a few ingredients, most of which are readily available. The most difficult ingredient to source will likely be the aji amarillo paste. This yellow chili pepper is often blended into a condiment and stirred into various sauces. It is also commonly used fresh.
I have to admit that I was unable to find the paste in Toronto but I haven’t given up hope! In the meantime, I decided to use a Mexican habanero salsa. I realize this may offend some but at the same time I think there is a case to be made for unavoidable substitutions. After all, if we’re being fair, by definition fusion cuisine opens itself up to just about any number of variations.
Perhaps the best part of Lomo Saltado is how easily it can be made Paleo and Whole30 compliant. First and foremost, coconut aminos can be used in the place of soy sauce. Secondly, regular potato French fries can be swapped out for sweet potato fries, if so desired.
It should be mentioned that oven-baked fries made with regular potatoes would also be considered Whole30 compliant. I just happened to have a few extra sweet potatoes on hand and decided to use those instead. In fact, my wife and I really enjoyed the sweetness against the acid from the vinegar in the sauce.
I hope you’ll give this Whole30 Lomo Saltado recipe a try. It’s as delicious as it is difficult to photograph!
- ½ lbs beef sirloin medallions – thinly sliced against the grain
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes – cut into French fries
- 1 medium-sized red onion – thinly sliced
- 3 Roma tomatoes – deseeded and sliced into 1” strips
- 2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh ginger – finely chopped
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp habanero salsa – or 1 tbsp aji Amarillo paste
- 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley – roughly chopped
- kosher salt
- avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place sweet potato fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 tbsp avocado oil and season with a pinch of salt. Toss to coat and arrange in a single layer. Transfer to oven and cook 30-35 min undisturbed, or until golden brown and fork tender.
- Meanwhile, add beef to a small bowl and pour in coconut aminos. Toss to coat and let marinade 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- When ready to cook, drain beef from as much marinade as possible, reserving all of the liquid.
- Preheat a carbon-steel or cast-iron pan or wok over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add avocado oil. Carefully add drained beef to hot oil (it will splatter!). Use a spatula to evenly spread beef across the surface of the pan. Cook undisturbed 2-3 minutes or until the beef develops a crust. Stir-fry an additional 1-2 minutes. Transfer browned beef to a bowl and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium-low, add onion to the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, reserved beef marinade, rice wine vinegar and habanero salsa. Stir fry until tomatoes have softened (approximately 3-4 minutes). Return beef to pan along with ¼ of the sweet potato fries and toss everything to coat.
- Remove pan from heat and garnish with parsley. Toss everything to combine.
- To serve, lay down a bed of the remaining sweet potatoes and top with Lomo Saltado. Garnish with a bit more parsley and enjoy immediately.