Today, I ask the same question that Shakespeare posed through his legendary character Juliet, “What’s in a name?” Unlike Juliet who argues against the importance of names, when we’re talking about my Loco Lomo, the name says it all. By the great hand of coincidence, loco—the spanish term for crazy—and lomo—the spanish term for a cut of meat—are end-rhymes. Together they represent the best Lomo Saltado I have tasted here in Peru and to be honest, I don’t think I’m going to get anything better than the Loco Lomo. Tender and bursting with flavor, this Lomo Saltado is a keeper.
Now that I’ve explained the significance of the Loco Lomo name, let me get to what this meal is all about. Lomo Saltado is a trademark Peruvian dish with its roots in the Chifa tradition, a peru twist on typical chinese platters. The lomo can be seasoned with a lot of different ingredients but it is always cooked with onions, peppers, and tomatoes and served alongside portions of rice and french fries. In terms of my abroad group in Arequipa, Lomo Saltado defintely wins for the most ordered dish at a restaurant. For example, one boy orders Lomo Saltado at every restaurant we go to (Kieran, cough, Kieran). Yet, he has a point because Lomo Saltado is truly one of those go-to’s that you can always rely on as a good meal anywhere.
Although it’s basically good everywhere, there has to be one that’s the best, right? Of course there is. The Loco Lomo is a recipe we made in my cooking class a couple of weeks ago and it blew the whole class off our feet. Soy-sauce stood out as the key ingredient to making this lomo perfect. The meat itself is seasoned plainly beforehand with just a bit of salt and pepper, yet it’s what happens in the frying pan that turns the lomo, well, loco. It’s cooked over a high flame in a mix of vinegar, oil, and soy-sauce for just under ten minutes. The brevity of the cooking time really surprised me but also showed me how quick of a meal Lomo Saltado is to cook. Needless to say, plates were cleaned and tummies were happy. My family back home has a good one coming for them this Christmas season, that’s for sure!