Roland Llave Torres, Native Peruvian and Regional Manager for South America at Under30Experiences, shares a classic dish of Peru and some history behind the region’s cuisine.
What can you tell us about typical Peruvian food?
In Peru, we have hundreds of choices of dishes depending on where you go.
Peru is located in a very strategic position on the globe.We have 84 out of the 104 life zones, so we can grow just about everything. Culinary diversity is something we have always been very proud of.
What are the typical foods in Peru?
- Lomo Saltado
- Aji de Gallina
- Cabrito a la Norteña
- Chicharron Cusqueño
- Chairo Cusqueño
- Lisas Uchu
Any there any traditional foods of Peru?
Yes, We have several!
One of them is from the region where I live, called Chiriuchu. It is a cold and spicy food that is from the Inca times. It is composed of guinea pig, hen, corn, pepper, seaweed, jerky, cheese, and tortillas. The story behind this is that back in the day when they celebrated the Summer and the Winter solstice, people would come to Peru from all different parts of South America with different products and dishes. They would all share ingredients that they had in their region and that is how this dish came about. It’s a little bit of everything from every single region.
What dish did you choose and why?
I chose Lomo Saltado.
I thought about sharing some Peruvian delicacies, but the ingredients can be a bit hard to find outside of Peru, so instead I chose a classic: lomo saltado. This can is for everyone because the ingredients are readily available. Basically, this is a beef tenderloin that is sauteed with onions and tomatoes, marinated in pisco (a Peruvian type of brandy), accompanied by french fries and potatoes…we like to eat a lot of carbs in Peru.
This dish has a bit of an asian influence as we have a quite large Asian community in Peru.
Ingredients (4 servings):
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 lb sirloin steak (455 g), cut into strips
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
½ red onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb french fries (455 g), cooked, hot
white rice, cooked, for serving, optional
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over high heat.
- Add the steak, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan, then add the red onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and browned. Add the tomato, garlic, and aji amarillo paste, and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes have released some of their juices, but are still intact.
- Add the soy sauce and vinegar. Stir to combine. Let cook for 1 minute.
- Add the steak, fries, and cilantro. Toss gently to coat the fries in the sauce.
- Serve with rice, if desired.
Buen Provecho (Enjoy)!