Chinese-style stir-fry in Peru?
Who would have thought this would be one of the most common things to see on a Peruvian restaurant menu?
Thanks to boatloads of Chinese-Cantonese immigrants hitting Peru’s shores in the mid-19th century, a bit of a mark was made on the local cuisine. Not that the various European immigrants that arrived beforehand weren’t already making their mark.
Think of your regular Chinese-style stir-fry – onions, peppers, soy sauce, meat – but toss in some french fries and you’ve got a very different dish.
Despite the unusual (not for Peruvians!) addition of potatoes, the flavours and various textures get on beautifully. Sweet onions and juicy tomatoes, chunks of beef, slightly softened fries and a glorious coating of salty soy, earthy oregano and spicy ají amarillo makes for a stir-fry with a difference.
I definitely had my fair share of lomo saltado whilst travelling around Peru, though none of them look quite like this. They’re a bit more stodgy-looking at your average restaurant or cheap almuerzo joint, and more often than not they use chunks of regular boiled potato, not fries.
They most certainly wouldn’t be putting cumin seeds, paprika, coriander leaves or lime in there like I have!