Chinese-Peruvian Beef Stir-Fry With French Fries (Lomo Saltado)

September 28, 2018
7 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This dish is perhaps one of the most emblematic chifa (Chinese-Peruvian dishes) in Peru. It has become so embedded in the country’s national cuisine that most Peruvians don’t even think about its Chinese origins. In my rendition, I reemphasize the Chinese elements in this dish by adding ginger, which gives the dish a pleasant bite, and oyster sauce, which adds a rich mouthfeel and profound umami flavor. Although traditionally made with beef sirloin, this recipe works with any protein, including tofu. At chifa restaurants, this dish would be cooked in a wok, but any pan that can tolerate very high heat will work for this recipe. Make sure to crack open a window and crank up your exhaust, as things can get smoky. The addition of crisp French fries makes lomo saltado particularly decadent. At home, I usually make my partner pick up some French fries from a nearby restaurant. However, you can fry or bake your own potatoes or just use frozen French fries. —Carlos C. Olaechea

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: This Famous Peruvian Dish Actually Comes From Chinese Immigrants. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 2 medium-sized) tomatoes, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2 cups (about 1 large) red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ají panca paste (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • Cooked French fries, for serving
  • Vegetable oil
  • White rice, for serving
  1. Marinate the beef in 1 T soy sauce, the cumin, black pepper, and sugar. Set aside for about 15 to 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse onions twice in cold water and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix remaining soy sauce, oyster sauce, ají panca paste, and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Heat a large pan to very high heat. Add enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the pan is very hot and oil is almost smoking, add a single layer of sirloin. Let brown, and then toss to brown evenly. Cook for about 3 minutes, and then remove the pan from the heat. Transfer sirloin to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef until it is all browned.
  5. Add cider vinegar to onions and quickly toss to combine. Heat pan over high heat and add a little oil, if necessary. Add onions and stir-fry until no longer raw but still crunchy. Add a few drops of water if necessary to prevent burning. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and transfer onions into the bowl with the sirloin.
  6. Return pan to the heat and add a little more oil, if necessary. Add tomatoes and stir-fry until no longer raw and still holding their shape, around 1 minute. You are almost just heating them through. Remove pan from the heat, and transfer tomatoes into the bowl with the onions and sirloin.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, return pan to the burner, and add a little bit of vegetable oil, if necessary. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic just begins to get golden.
  8. Immediately add the oyster sauce mixture to the pan. Stir to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook the sauce until it reduces slightly and has a syrupy texture, around 2-3 minutes.
  9. Immediately add the vegetables and beef into the pan and stir to coat everything with the sauce. Add cilantro and French fries and stir again. Serve immediately with white rice.
  10. Note: Ají panca is dried, maroon-colored chili that forms the backbone of many Peruvian dishes. It has a bit of a kick and a mild, slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of dried fruit. You can find ají panca paste in jars at many Latino groceries or online. If it's unavailable to you, use cayenne pepper to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jacques Spilka
    Jacques Spilka
  • edith
  • Carlos C. Olaechea
    Carlos C. Olaechea
  • Kris
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
I was born in Peru to a Limeño father and a Texan mother. We moved to Miami when I was five, and I grew up in the "Kendall-suyo" neighborhood—often called the 5th province of the Inca Empire because of its large Peruvian population. I've been writing about food since I was 11 years old, and in 2016 I received a master's degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. A travel columnist at Food52, I'm currently based in Hollywood, Florida—another vibrant Peruvian community—where I am a writer, culinary tour guide, and consultant.

19 Reviews

Jacques S. April 29, 2022
Great flavour. Good stir-fry. It helps if you start with good sirloin!
Deb H. July 16, 2020
Bob was attempting to have "others" think outside the gastronomical box. Try it, you may like it! I have traveled in Peru, and this recipe brought back wonderful culinary memories!
Chuck December 28, 2019
wow, some very sensitive egos down below, starting with liliana. 20 paces everyone with two french fries.
Rprp November 23, 2018
HELP! "Beef sirloin" is a huge denomination for a great variety of cuts. Some succulent and tender (classic sirloin steak) and some relatively dry and less tender, needing other treatment (top sirloin) and perhaps not so great for stir-fry. Can you be more specific? Thanks @

Carlos C. November 26, 2018
Thank you for your excellent question, and I apologize for my oversight in this. Lomo refers generally to the loin of the animal. I asked for loin in the recipe so that readers do not use other parts of the cow, like skirt steak (which some cooks in the US do use for lomo saltado).

I did some digging around and found that most chefs in Lima agree that "lomo fino" is the best cut for making lomo saltado. This is roughly equivalent to the tenderloin. If you want to get fancy, filet mignon would work beautifully. Classic sirloin steak is perfect for this. Again, I apologize about the vagueness.
edith October 1, 2018
I made this for dinner with my picky children and they loved it! Great recipe! The only thing that I changed was the Ají Panca, instead I used Sambal Oelek that I had in my fridge and it was very tasty. This is definitely a keeper.
Carlos C. October 2, 2018
So glad you all liked it! And I think it would be amazing with sambal oelek or any chili paste you can find.
liliana September 29, 2018
Please excuse me for this extensive and inappropriate exchange with B. Thomas.
This site is not designed for such puffery.
I apologize.
But I have a hard time dealing with male arrogance and feel bound to respond.
Yolanda September 29, 2018
Great and well-explained recipe. The trick is to not let the fries or vegetables over cook or soak in the pan. Must serve and eat immediately. Texture and flavors make this dish the most enjoyable. As Peruvian, I feel super proud this classic gets best reactions from my American friends.
Kris September 29, 2018
Thanks, Yolanda. As you’re a Peruvian, I highly value your comments & input.
Eric K. September 30, 2018
Great tip, Yolanda.
Carlos C. October 1, 2018
You are absolutely right, Yolanda. You should have everything prepped and ready to stir fry. And you should have your rice and serving plate ready so you can eat it immediately. The longer you wait, the less delicious it gets. Thanks for the tip
liliana September 28, 2018
The combination of spices etc. is intriguing.
But I cannot envisage throwing french fries into the mix.
Nor soaking onions for that matter.
And perhaps simmering the beef a bit in this wonderful combinations of flavours.
Bob T. September 28, 2018
Try it you might like it.
It is all about expanding your horizons and getting something new and different on the table.
liliana September 29, 2018
My, my, B. Thomas, how royally condescending !!
Bob T. September 29, 2018
It was just a suggestion. I've been there and been pleasantly surprised with the results. Of, course, each to their own.
liliana September 29, 2018
I lived in South America for over 5 years in 4 different countries. But I would not presume.
This is becoming silly. Bob. I am not interested in a duel of egos. This is about a recipe.
Bob T. September 29, 2018
Seems there is only one ego on display here. Take care.
liliana September 29, 2018
And the ego on display is yours.