EAT THE WORLD: PERU

If you know me, you'll also know that Peru is the number one best country I have visited so far. Sure, I haven't seen a lot of the world like other travel bloggers out there, but without a doubt, Peru is incredible. From climbing Machu Picchu to exploring its cities, and driving through deserts and past volcanoes, Peru is without a doubt one of the most incredible and interesting countries I have visited. It also has been one of the most enlightening and thought provoking countries I have traveled to. I traveled to Peru with Contiki in 2014, and cannot wait to go back. I did the short Inca trail (one day) and plan to do the full route in the future. I visited the beautiful city of Arequipa, and explored Lima too. I also felt like I nearly died a few times, whether that was in the air, on the road, or sick with altitude and motion sickness combined. Either way - THE MOST FANTASTIC TRIP EVER! 

Stupidly, I've put off eating Peru for a long time. I won't be doing things like that again, putting off stuff for the sake of something or someone else. So here is my EAT THE WORLD: PERU EDITION! 

If you haven't seen it by now, you'll know that I am also obsessed with Peruvian food. Except cuy. I'm not obsessed with that particular kind of Peruvian food! Peru has some of the most unique and interesting cuisine in the world, and are fast pacing themselves to exploding on a international scene. If you don't have a Peruvian restaurant in your city, you are missing out. Plain and simple. I have at least two blog posts on my foodie adventures of Peru. So you know what's what. For this edition though, I decided to make on one of the first meals I ever ate. It was in Florida in a restaurant called Victoria's, a few weeks before I was due to travel to Peru. Let me rephrase. It wasn't the first meal I ate. It was rather my dad's meal and I ate a good portion of it. Here is EAT THE WORLD PERU: LOMO SALTADO. 

Lomo Saltado Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper (season meat)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion (thick slices)
  • 3 plum tomatoes (thick slices)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons red vinegar
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 spring onions (sliced, no root)
  • 2 cups french fries 

Note: You may want to use more tomatoes. This dish serves a lot, and I think a greater portion of tomatoes would be better. They are supposed to keep their shape when cooking and mine also got mushy. 

Lomo Saltado is also served with RICE! Carb overload yes. You can also make a batch of rice to go with this meal. 

Directions

  1. Cook the french fries. I used pre-cut french fries and baked them, but you can make them from scratch, or get store bought like I did. You can also deep-fry them. Your preference!
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper before cooking.
  3. In a bowl, put the soy sauce, vinegar, beef stock and cumin. 
  4. In a pan over high heat, add the oil. Brown the meat on one side, then flip over and cook for another two minutes. Do the meat in batches. 
  5. Once cooked, stir in the onion with all the meat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes to the stir fry and cook for one minute. Tomatoes must keep their shape.
  7. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Turn off the heat, and toss the stir fry with french fries. 
  9. Toss in the cilantro and green onion.
  10. Serve with rice. 

THE TRAVELING GINGER VERDICT

I have eaten Lomo Saltado a few times before, so I know that its a really good dish. But for some reason, this recipe didn't hit the spots like usual. It felt like something was either missing or the balance of ingredients was off. Either way though, it was still a really good meal - who doesn't love a stir fry with fries in it, right? There are a lot of flavors, and the soy sauce in the dish definitely reminds you of an asian dish. Peru has a lot of fusion dishes like this, and I think that's what makes the food in Peru incredible. I really want to cook some more Peruvian dishes, but for now, I must move on to the next country! 

RATING: 7/10

RECIPE FOR LOMO SALTADO, PERUVIAN DISH

PERU MOVIE PAIRING: THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES

The Motorcycle Diaries is a biopic about Ernesto Guevara, or under his more famous name, the revolutionary Che Guevara. The film depicts the motorcycle journey he took across South America, that ultimately transformed his viewpoints and beliefs. The characters they meet on their journey force them to face the issues of the peasantry, the sick and the effect of social class in 1950s South America. His journey starts out from his home country of Argentina, and in Peru, he lives and cares for people sick with leprosy. I didn't know this movie was about Che Guevara until half way through when I really googled it. The original write up I read mentioned nothing of Che, which I now find kind of weird, and all I was searching for was a movie that involved Peru, and one that I could access easily on Netflix, Xfinity or Amazon Video. Anyways, I was not disappointed. This is a truly incredible film, no matter your viewpoints on the revolutionary Che Guevara. And I have learnt that your viewpoint on this man also depends on where in the world you were born and raised, for sure! I'm not sure I would further recommend it as a film for Peru, even though you do see Machu Picchu, but it is definitely a film to watch if you are interested in the history of South America. 

Have you been to Peru or is it on your bucket list? What would be your first stop in South America?