The Secret to Lomo Saltado…

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Lomo saltado — a traditional Peruvian stir fry dish with your choice of meat.  The best lomo saltado I have ever come across can be tried at the Chinese-Peruvian fusion restaurant, Flor de Mayo.  There are two locations in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  I have only been to the one on Amsterstam between 83rd and 84th, but I imagine their other location is able to recreate the same mouth watering, sour, salty, and perfectly seasoned Peruvian dish that I can still bring my taste buds back to just by looking at this picture:

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I still have yet to discover my go-to lomo saltado spot in my new residence.  Luckily, my brother passed down his recipe for lomo that he learned from his Peruvian mother-in-law (God bless her).  The secret to achieving the unmistakeable flavor combination of lomo saltado comes from two main ingredients.  Are you ready?  It’s cilantro and vinegar!  Everything up until when you add these two ingredients might as well just be a Chinese stir fry.  The dish takes on a whole new form once we throw in cilantro and the white rice vinegar (and also the fries, but more on those later!).

Lomo Saltado
prep time: 15 mins
cook time: 20-25 mins
serves: 4

Ingredients:
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise 1/2-inch thick – french fry shaped!
2.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs (or boneless meat of your choice), chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 large red onion (half medium-diced, half chopped into 1-inch wide strips) *see picture below
1 tbsp soy sauce
white vinegar (I use Filipino brand Datu Puti – cane vinegar)
1 roma tomato, small-diced

1.5 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (about 15 or so leaves?)
salt and pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil

* chop onions like this… (half strips & half medium chopped)

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RECIPE

First, make the french fries.  (Use this recipe for whenever you want to enjoy homemade french fries in your own kitchen!)

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To make the french fries:
Preheat over to 425 degrees F.  Spread out potatoes onto ungreased baking pan.  Drizzle with 2 tbsp EVOO.  Season with salt and pepper liberally.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Toss fries every ten minutes with a spatula.  Remove from oven and cool onto separate platter.  Leave a handful of french fries aside to enjoy alongside your meal!

To make the lomo saltado:

1. Marinate chicken and medium-diced onion pieces in 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp vinegar for 30-60 minutes. Marinade should just coat chicken; chicken should not be swimming in marinade.

2. Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in a wok over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a wok, use  a saute pan.) Cook chicken with marinade and onions until chicken is cooked and white in color (about 7 mins).  Stir continuously.

3. When chicken is cooked, reduce to medium-low heat.  Add tomatoes and remaining red onion strips.  Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated, stirring.  Add chopped cilantro, leaving some cilantro for garnish.  Turn off heat.

4. Mix in cilantro, then mix in french fries.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve warm over rice and with the handful of fries you set aside. (Try yellow rice, yum!)

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