Well, it was love at first taste with lomo saltado some 12 years or so ago. There is a great Peruvian restaurant in Torrance, California called El Pollo Inka and in our opinion, they have the best saltado. We've had it with beef and chicken. It is so tasty, mmm. It also has french fries...bad. Several years ago we tried to cut out most carbs which led us to making this dish at home (also because there are no Peruvian restaurants here in Hawaii) without the french fries. We can't get the taste exactly the same as El Pollo Inka, but it's still a great tasting dish, even without the fries.
For the past few weeks we've enjoyed following Flamidwyfe's blog and she's mentioned several times "beef with cilantro". Mmm..that made "lomo saltado" pop into our minds. We knew after the holidays and our vacation we just had to make it. We usually make pollo or chicken saltado because we try not to eat a whole lot of beef, but eye of round was on sale at our local market and honestly, we were too lazy/tired to stand in the kitchen cutting off fat from boneless/skinless chicken thighs. The eye of round on sale were very thin slices of meat, we probably won't go with these super thin slices again. Cooks too fast and dries out easily. Most recipes have you cut the meat into 1/4" thick pieces which works much better.
We always forget how tasty and EASY this dish is to make. So, thank you to flamidwyfe for jogging our memory!
Notes: We usually make this dish once or twice a year and each time we try a new recipe in hopes to come as close as possible to El Pollo Inka's recipe. This dish is usually made with tomatoes, but as mentioned in previous posts, the male half of this couple doesn't care for tomatoes, so we left them out. If you want the tomatoes, cut your tomatoes into thinnish wedges and removes the seeds before cooking.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1 lb. lean beef, cut into 1/4" thick, 2" long pieces
1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices (or wedges - whichever you prefer)
4 T. cilantro, rinsed and chopped (leaves only)
a few drops of red wine vinegar
1 t. ground cumin
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 T. garlic, minced
1 aji amarillo (peruvian hot pepper or your choice of pepper, the peruvian one is about the size of a medium sized jalapeno), deseeded and sliced into thin slices
3 T. soy sauce, low sodium
In a bowl, toss sliced meat with 1/2 T. soy sauce, ground cumin and cinnamon. Chop onions and peruvian pepper. Over medium high heat, spray a wok with nonstick spray. Saute garlic and half of your peruvian peppers for a minute or two. Raise the heat to high and add beef slices. Stir fry until meat is about 70% cooked. Remove everything from wok and set aside (juice included). Spray your wok with a little more nonstick spray and stir fry onions until barely soft. Sprinkle between 4-8 drops of red wine vinegar (depending on your taste). Continue to stir fry until vinegar evaporates (should only take a minute or less). If you are adding tomatoes, remove the onions and repeat the onion process with the tomatoes. If you are not adding tomatoes, add back the beef with all the juices, the rest of your Peruvian peppers and the remainder of soy sauce. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add 2 1/2 T. cilantro. Mix well and serve. Garnish with remainder of cilantro.
His was served over white rice. If you are making rice with this, add in a few drops of olive oil and a few dashes of garlic powder to your uncooked rice.
If making this with chicken, we usually cut our thighs into bite sized pieces, not strips. We've also seen this dish made with shrimp.
Enjoy...we always do!