Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lomo Saltado (Saltadito)

Lomo saltado has to be one of my all-time favorites. Maybe it’s the way the meat is marinated, or the seasoning (or even the fact that the dish includes fries) but one serving is never enough. The dish itself is not all that complicated. The type of beef you use depends on how much you want to spend, as long as the beef can be cut into 1½-inch thin strips. The only thing that takes time is chopping and cutting the ingredients and frying the potatoes (and the dish actually works well even without fries).

Everyone in my family has his or her own way of preparing lomo saltado (also commonly known as saltadito — at least in my family). For example, my aunt who lives in Peru leaves off the potato and adds several other vegetables. My mom here in Tulsa adds the fries only part of the time, and she also spices the dish in a different way.

The key to a successful saltadito is to quickly sear the meat, to trap all the juices inside. Don’t overcook the meat. It’s small enough that it won’t take long. Remove the meat and use that same pan to saute the vegetables. (It adds to the flavor.)

Ingredients: (You can click on the red ingredient links to see more information, including where to find them)
2 cloves garlic
1 aji amarillo or jalapeno (optional)
1 pound sirloin steak
4 or 5 medium potatoes
2 large red onions
2 medium tomatoes
salt, pepper
1 tsp aji panca
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 cups of white rice
vegetable oil

Cut all the vegetable ingredients and separate them into individual bowls. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, the onions into thick slices and dice the aji amarillo, then peel the potatoes and cut them into french-fry-size pieces. Combine the onions, tomatoes and garlic into a large bowl and marinate them with the vinegar, oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, salt, pepper and about 1/4 tsp cumin. Cut the steak into 1 1/2 inch strips, about 1/4 inch thick. Rub a little salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin and aji panca on the meat, and sprinkle about half the red wine vinegar and 1 tsp of soy sauce. Set this aside for a few minutes. If you’re serving fries with this dish, I recommend preparing them first (along with the rice) since it’s best to serve the meat soon after its cooked.
For the fries, pour about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a pan (its not necessary to completely cover the fries in oil) and turn it to medium high. After a few minutes, take one of your potato strips and dip the tip into the oil; if it sizzles, then it’s hot enough. Put the potatoes in, one layer at a time, and use tongs or a fork to turn them until they’re crisp on all sides and fully cooked through. Dry them on paper towels and set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Coat a large pan with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil and set on high heat. When the oil starts smoking, drop the meat in. Stir constantly until the meat is brown on all sides. When you can’t see any more red on the meat, transfer it to a bowl.
Into the pan you just emptied, place the marinated onions, tomatoes and garlic; saute about 3 or 4 minutes. Drop the meat back into the pan and lower the heat to low. At this point, the meat and veggies don’t need to cook longer, just kept warm until serving time.
Mix the fries with the meat and veggies, or just place them on top. I like it both ways.

Put a healthy mound of rice on a plate and then ladle the saltadito on top or to the side of the rice. I prefer to put it on top so the rice can absorb some of the veggie and meat juices. If you mixed the fries with the saltadito while in the pan, you’re done. If not, add a few on top. Enjoy!

Some pictorial sequence pictures

Recipe cooked on 2011-02-13 (Lima, Peru). Photographs by Michael Findley.


  1. Oh my gosh! This was simply delicious! Loved it!Its my new go to recipe for lomo saltado!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've neglected the blog for way too long, was not sure anyone still looked at it.