Scrumptious Beef and Vegetables Stir Fry with French Fries and Rice
Our affection for this juicy, steamy, homey dish is bigger than anyone could imagine. It´s not Peruvian in origin but a fantastic influence of the Chinese that came to the country to work in big haciendas more than 100 years ago. There is nothing more comforting and satisfying than this combination of flavors and textures, with its mixture of native (potatoes, tomatoes, chillies) and foreign ingredients (beef, onion, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar). The preparation is super fast, and except for the French fries, you can have dinner ready in minutes.
The fries and rice are a must. Some like the fries -yellow floury potatoes work best here- on top of the saltado, and some like them underneath so they can absorb the flavorful juices, just like rice does. We love them on the side, so they remain creamy inside but crispy on the outside. Feel free to substitute the potatoes with boiled and then fried yuca. One good friend of mine has a recipe using potato gnocchi instead. The overall result is different but gets full marks on originality and taste.
Like you probably have already noticed, most of our dishes have many variations, depending on one´s creativity or the ingredients at hand. Lomo Saltado is not the exception. Instead of sirloin steak I often use chicken (divine!), vegetables (for my vegetarian daughter; wonderful with portobello mushrooms cut in strips to substitute the meat), shrimp, seafood, and whatever the person I´m cooking for is in the mood for. Some fashionable chefs prepare an exquisite version with spaghetti, or use the stir fry to fill in empanadas or hearty sandwiches. Whichever way, the result is always truly delicious.
For the preparation you should have everything ready. I recommend using sirloin steak because it is so tender, perfect for this kind of dish. All the veggies must be chopped in advance. After you cook the meat in a very hot pan and it turns a beautiful brown color, just add the rest of the ingredients except the herbs and liquids. The onion should remain crispy and the tomato almost raw, not mushy. Then add the liquids and the herbs to finish it off, et voila! White rice and fries… so simple… so good.
- 1 lb. sirloin steak cut in thin slices
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves finely diced
- 1 red onion cut in thick slices
- 2 tomatoes cut in thick slices
- 1 seeded and ribbed aji amarillo chili pepper cut in thin slices (you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of aji amarillo paste, or with any chili pepper you can find)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups French fries
- White rice as a side dish
- *Season the sirloin steak with salt and pepper.
- *Put a wok or a pan over very high heat. Add the oil and saute the meat, a few slices at a time so they don't steam but remain golden instead (about 10 minutes, depending on how strong the flame is).
- *Add the garlic, onion, tomato, chili pepper, and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the soy sauce and vinegar in the sides of the pan and mix everything. Season with more salt and pepper.
- *Take off the heat, add chopped cilantro and serve at once with French fries and white rice.