"I recently had the pleasure to meet Tony Custer—if you don’t know who is, you should. In 2000 he essentially wrote the first cookbook in English on Peruvian food making it a sort of manifesto for Peruvian cuisine around the world. The book, “The Art of Peruvian Cuisine”, is a hefty, picture filled cookbook featuring the country’s most classic recipes including ceviches, tiraditos and piscos, it really is a work of art. I interviewed him for a story I’m writing for Americas Quarterly which will come out in the summer, but here’s one of my favorite recipes from the book, lomo saltado. This dish is Peruvian stir fry at it’s best- it’s quick, delicious and perfect with a side of rice. While the original recipe calls for ajíes amarillos and ají limo but I substituted with a red and yellow bell peppers. While the spice was missing, it was a good substitute with what I could find at my local grocery. Also, it’s important that I note that 100 percent of the proceeds from his cookbook go to his program “Aprendemos Juntos” which installs special classrooms with full time psychologists and therapists to help children with learning disabilities in Lima, Peru."
Total Servings: 6
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped ají limo (I just used a red bell pepper and cut into thin strips)
- 2 pounds beef, cut into strips (I used skirt steak and cut it into strips)
- 1 pound red onions, sliced
- 1 pound plum tomatoes sliced lengthwise into sixths
- 2 pounds large yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks (I used a bag of frozen French fries)
- 3 ajíes amarillos, sliced fine (I used 2 yellow bell peppers)
- 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 pinch of ground cumin
- ** Red wine vinegar (about 6 tablespoons)
- ** Salt and pepper
- ** Oil for frying (I used canola oil)
- First- this makes a TON of lomo saltado so keep this in mind if you are feeding around less than six people.
- Heat enough oil to coat a large pan or wok and, over medium heat, sauté garlic and ají limo (or your substitution) for 2 minutes. Raise the heat, add meat and brown all over. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
- Remove meat from the pan and set aside, keeping it warm.
- Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and stir-fry onions until just barely soft, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add a few drops of red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan, still stir frying the onions, let the vinegar evaporate, about another minute—the onions should have some bite. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat the stiry fry steps with the tomato and set aside as well (there’s a lot of set aside in this recipe!)
- In a separate skillet, deep fry the potato sticks until just slightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain potatoes on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. If you are using frozen French fries, follow the instructions on the bag.
- Return meat, onion and tomato to the wok. Add ajíes amarillos (or substitute) and soy sauce and cook for about a minute. Finally, add the French friends and mix everything together carefully. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
"The Art of Peruvian Cuisine" can be purchased here. All proceeds benefit the Aprendemos Juntos program in Lima, Peru.