Lomo Saltado (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry)
Peruvian beef stir fry (Lomo Saltado) is quick and delicious to make at home. It’s made using thinly sliced steak and stir-fried with onions and tomatoes. Lomo Saltado can have french fries mixed into the stir fry or served on the side, and I can’t think of a better way to eat steak and potatoes together!
Not only is it fun to say, it’s also delicious on your tongue. Loaded with tons of savory, perfectly seared steak slices, crisp onion petals, and savory, ripe tomatoes. I love serving it on a bed of white rice (or cauliflower rice if I’m watching the calories) alongside hot and crispy French fries.
I first enjoyed this delicious Peruvian steak stir fry at a local restaurant that makes it so well. And of course, three bites in I was obsessively dissecting all the flavors that were just dancing on my tongue.
I won’t tell you how to eat your Lomo Saltado, but I’ll let you know this much; this steak stir fry is served with FRENCH FRIES. And to be honest, I can’t think of a better way to eat steak and potatoes. One thing about Lomo Saltado, people get very heated about the way the fries are served. Some are adamant that you need to toss French fries into the stir fry, while others keep them on the side. For this reason, I’d like to point out that I don’t toss my French fries in the stir fry. However, it is done both ways! You can toss them in if you like, but I’m big on texture and want to enjoy that hot crispy, crunch!
What is Lomo Saltado?
Is a popular Peruvian stir fry dish made with beef that literally translated means “jumped loin.” It is a dish that is part of Chifa cuisine which is the meshing of Chinese and Peruvian ingredients and cooking techniques. Peruvian beef stir fry is typically a combination of steak, onions, tomatoes, and French fries. It’s served alongside cooked rice.
What ingredients do you need to make Lomo Saltado?
- Beef: There are several different cuts of meat you can use for this recipe. Be sure to cut against the grain and make equal pieces so that they cook up in roughly the same amount of time.
- Low sodium soy sauce: I recommend using low sodium soy sauce because the recipe would be quite salty with regular soy sauce.
- Garlic: Mince the garlic finely! Half of it will be used to marinate the beef, the other half will go into the stir fry.
- Oyster sauce: adds umami to the stir fry along with the soy sauce.
- Red wine vinegar: Vinegar helps cuts through some of the salt and the fattiness of the beef. It’s just the right amount so it’s not going
- Aji amarillo: is a Peruvian yellow pepper that is grown all over Peru. I found it a bit difficult to find fresh peppers where I live, so I used the next best thing – aji Amarillo paste. Fresh is best, but if you can’t find it, you can purchase it here. A substitute for the aji Amarillo is a combination of 1/4 of finely grated serrano pepper and 1/4 of a finely grated yellow bell pepper combined. You can also just throw both of these ingredients into a food processor if that’s easier.
- Red onion: You’ll want to cut the red onion into thicker wedges so that they hold up to the high heat cooking.
- Tomatoes: The tomatoes are also cut into wedges. I use Roma tomatoes and cut them into 6-7 pieces depending on the size of the tomato.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is added in right at the end before serving, but you could also use scallions, I’ve seen it served with both.
- Cornstarch: The cornstarch is used to just add a hint of thickness to the sauce.
What kind of beef cuts can I use for this recipe?
There are several different cuts of meat you can use for this recipe. My favorite Peruvian restaurant here uses filet mignon, but you could also use sirloin, skirt steak, or flank steak. The thing to keep in mind is to cut the meat in thin slices or small pieces that are the same size so that they cook up evenly.
How to make Lomo Saltado at home:
- Marinate the beef: Add a splash of soy sauce and roughly half of the minced garlic to the thinly sliced beef and allow for it to marinate for 5-7 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients. This is where you’d add in a pinch of baking soda if you used a particularly tough cut of meat.
- Make the sauce: The sauce is as simple as combining a few ingredients in a mason jar and giving it a quick shake to help everything mix. All you need is soy sauce, red wine vinegar, oyster sauce, aji Amarillo paste, and cornstarch.
- Stir fry and put it all together: Add oil to a cast iron skillet or a cast iron braiser and let it heat all the way through. When the oil is shimmering, add the beef slices in batches and sear them on both sides. Then, remove the beef to a plate and continue browning the remaining beef. Add another splash of oil to the pan then salt the onions until they soften a bit before adding the garlic and the tomatoes. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Then add the beef back into the pan. Drizzle everything with the prepared sauce and toss to combine. You’d also add the French fries here if you wanted them to soften in the sauce. Top with sliced scallions or chopped cilantro if desired. Serve warm over rice!
How to make restaurant-style Peruvian steak stir fry:
- Slicing the beef: I suggest making sure to cut the meat across the grain. This shortens the length of the muscle fibers and helps make the meat more tender.
- For particularly tough cuts: marinate the meat for 1 hour in ¼ teaspoon of baking soda along with the soy sauce and garlic. The alkalinity of baking soda helps raise the pH of the meat. This causes the proteins to move further apart, and that makes it more tender and easier to chew!
- To help slice the steak easily: place the fresh steak in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. That way, it’ll stiffen a bit and the blade can slice through the meat much easier.
- Mis en place: The steak takes minutes to cook. So you want to be sure everything is prepped beforehand. That way, it’s smooth sailing during the cooking phase.
- 1 pound beef (filet mignon, sirloin, skirt steak, or flank steak) cut into thin slices
- 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon EACH: oyster sauce AND red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo paste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 medium red onion, sliced into ½ inch wedges
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and sliced into ½ inch wedges
- Sliced scallions/chopped cilantro, for serving
- Oil, for cooking
- Cooked French fries + rice, for serving
- MARINATE: Add 1 tablespoons soy sauce and roughly half the garlic, to the thinly sliced beef and allow for the beef to marinate for 5-7 minutes. If you’re using a particularly tough cut of meat, consider adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda along with the soy sauce and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
- SAUCE: In a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, red wine vinegar, Aji Amarillo paste, and cornstarch. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- STIR FRY: Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil to a hot cast iron pan or wok until it shimmers. Brown the beef for roughly 1-2 minutes flipping as needed to cook evenly. You might want to do this in batches if the pan you’re working with is small. You want the beef to sear, not steam! Remove to a plate. Add another tablespoon of oil if the pan is dry. Add the onions and sauce them for 1 minute before adding the remaining garlic and tomatoes. Continue to sauté for 1 minute, then add the beef back into the pan. You’d also add the French fries here if you wanted to cook them with the sauce. Drizzle with the prepared sauce and toss to combine. Top with sliced scallions or chopped cilantro (or both) and serve warm with rice and with French fries (if you want them crispy!)
- Make sure you cut the steak against the grain. For detailed instructions on how to do so, see post.
- If you can't find Aji Amarillo, you can blend 1/4 of a serrano with 1/4 of yellow bell pepper. It's not exactly the same thing but something similar.