Lomo Saltado – a classic Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry made with onion, tomatoes and a Pisco, tamari and vinegar based sauce. A perfect 30 minute weeknight dinner that cooks in minutes. International flavor right in your house. Healthy weeknight meal. Gluten Free + Dairy Free
I have not quite yet been everywhere in South America but between travels through Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, I can hands down say that the food in Peru was the best.
Peruvians know their food. As a local couchsurfer told us, “we [Peruvians] don’t sing, dance, or play football, but we do cook” and I can with confidence confirm that to be true. The diversity in Peruvian cooking is incredible – as is the international, especially Asian influence.
To learn a bit more about the various dishes I of course had to sign up for a cooking class. The class at Arthur’s Restaurant in Arequipa seemed the most professional as we would be cooking in the actual restaurant kitchen and each participant would be able to make everything from scratch themselves. I’m not a fan of cooking classes where the whole dissects a recipes and only preps a single ingredient – I’m just not getting the full experience that way.
The menu that I chose included ceviche and lomo saltado.
Lomo saltado is a classic Peruvian stir fry with Asian influence. The Chinese came over to Peru in the 1800s and greatly influenced and inspired modern day Peruvian cuisine. In Peru they have a special name for Chinese restaurants – Chifa, which you can find in every city. Being a lover of Asian food and cooking techniques, it’s no surprise that I am a sucker for both ceviche and lomo saltado. While this dish is traditionally made with alpaca or beef I choose to make this with chicken instead – my desired protein of choose.
In standard stir fry recipes it is an absolute must to have everything prepped before you turn on the stove. The ingredients cook in minutes, if not seconds so prepping as you go is not an option.
Most fun of all was cooking in a wok over a gas flame and being able to create a flambe effect – cooking procedure where alcohol is added to a hot pan and there is a momentary burst of flames. It was indeed as fun as it looks. Though unfortunately it seems you can only achieve this effect over a gas flame. If anyone has managed this with an electric or induction stove please let me know!
This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients including chicken, garlic, ginger, cilantro, tomatoes and red onions. The garlic and ginger get minced and cooked first in hot oil, before adding the chicken. Then the tomatoes and red onion, cut into large wedges are added.
For the sauce you only need three ingredients: Pisco, tamari and balsamic vinegar. Pisco is the classic alcohol of choice in Peru (though Chileans will argue that they introduced Pisco to the world). This is a a grape brandy made by specifically sweet grapes that are turned into wine and distilled into Pisco. With an average alcohol percentage of 35-40% this stuff is strong, and quite necessary for the country’s national drink – the classic Pisco sour.
If you don’t have Pisco (which I had never tried before a trip to Peru) you can use brandy of cognac instead. The Pisco + tamari + vinegar creates the greatest glaze sauce ever, especially when mixed with the juicy sauce of the plump tomatoes.
This is without a doubt one of my favorite Peruvian recipes and a must make. This Peruvian chicken stir fry comes together in less than 30 minutes with minimal prep and cook time required. Traditionally it is served over both rice and fries for the ultimate carb heavy meal, but feel free to just serve this over a side of rice or oven roasted potatoes for a healthier take on this classic.
How cool do those colorful potatoes look though? Fun fact: Peru has over 4000 different varieties of potatoes. Another reason it’s the country for me – I am a potato lover.
Lomo Saltado - a classic Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry made with onion, tomatoes and a Pisco + tamari based sauce. A perfect weeknight dinner that cooks in minutes. International flavor right in your house. Healthy weeknight meal. Gluten Free + Dairy Free | avocadopesto.com
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2/3 - 1 pound chicken breast, cubed (can use beef instead)
- 1/2 small red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons diced coriander
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 cup Pisco (can use Brandy or Cognac instead)
- 1/4 cup gluten free tamari
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 - 4 potatoes, diced, and deep fried (optional)
- 1 cup rice, cooked according to package directions
- Finely chop ginger, garlic and coriander.
- Cut tomato and onion into wedges.
- Cut chicken into 1 and 1/2 inch cubes.
- Heat pan (preferably wok, over a gas flame) until hot. Add oil, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant - 30 seconds.
- Add chicken. Saute until chicken is browned and cooked through.
- Add onion and tomato, saute for 30 seconds.
- Add pisco and shake the pan over the gas flame, until flames come up! Add a dash of salt.
- Add tamari, vinegar and a splash of water.
- Serve over rice or deep fried or roasted potatoes.
- Sprinkle with cilantro.
*This is best when made in a wok over a gas flame. Without the gas flame you will not get that flambe when the Pisco is added and the whole pan is set on fire momentarily. *Everything cooks quickly so make sure to have all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking
Recipe from Peruvian Flavors Cooking Class in Arequipa, Peru