A filling Peruvian dish with savory, sour taste
16:58 JST, October 19, 2021
At this time of the year when the weather starts to cool down, we need to eat well to maintain our strength. Wakako Sato, a researcher of multinational cuisine, offers a hearty dish of Peruvian-style beef stir-fry using soy sauce that goes well with rice.
Called “lomo saltado” in Peru, the dish is complemented by French fries mixed into the stir-fry, a combination rarely seen in Japan.
In Peru, where there are many immigrants from Asia, soy sauce is often used at home and in restaurants.
“It is a stir-fry using soy sauce, but it is different from Japanese or Chinese styles of cooking,” Sato said. “I hope people enjoy the cumin flavor and the refreshing taste of vinegar.”
The key to cooking this is to make the French fries crispy on the outside with a soft and flaky texture on the inside. Potatoes are soaked in water for at least 30 minutes to remove the starch from the surface, then covered with rice flour to make it easier to get a crispy texture. When frying, put the potatoes in room-temperature oil instead of hot oil. This way, they are cooked slowly, as if being boiled in the oil, to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.
When stir-frying, “Be careful not to crumble the tomatoes too much,” said Sato.
Ingredients (serves 2):
200 grams of beef (for steak)
1/8 yellow bell pepper
1 or 2 potatoes
1 clove garlic
½ tsp grated ginger
A pinch of sugar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1¼ tsp cumin powder
A pinch of powdered red chili
1 tbsp soy sauce
Rice flour (or strong flour)
1. Peel potatoes and slice them into long sticks. Soak them in water for at least 30 minutes. Cut the beef into one-centimeter-wide pieces and season with a pinch of salt, pepper and ¼ teaspoon of cumin powder. Cut the tomato and onion into wedges, cut the bell pepper into thin slices, and grate the garlic.
2. Drain the potatoes and sprinkle with rice flour. Put them in room-temperature oil and fry. When they rise to the surface and turn golden brown, remove them.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown the beef on both sides. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry lightly, then add onion and bell pepper and stir-fry further.
4. When the onion is transparent, add the wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar and mix. Add the tomatoes, turn the heat to high, and stir-fry quickly so as not to break them up too much. Sprinkle with powdered red chili and a teaspoon of cumin powder and add soy sauce.
5. Add the French fries, mix gently, and turn off the heat. Serve with rice mixed with chopped parsley, butter and a pinch of salt, and garnish with chopped coriander.
The sour soy sauce flavor is easy to relate to, and the strong seasoning makes the rice irresistible. The French fries soaked in flavor were also delicious.
Spiced French fries
French fries go well with most spices and herbs. Sato made spiced French fries using chili powder, cumin powder, chili pepper and salt.
“The key is to sprinkle [the spices] when the fries are just out of the oil,” Sato said. “Enjoy it with your favorite spices and herbs.”
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