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Lomo Saltado Peruano

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The word saltado refers to stir fry (salteado in other Spanish-speaking countries, from the french sautée, which means to "jump"), a widely recognized Chinese cooking technique. Hence, saltado dishes are commonly known in Peru to have a Chinese cuisine influence. The same 2011 newspaper article mentions that having a Chinese cook (or servant) was considered a luxury at the time and that years later after completing their indenture contracts, many Chinese Peruvians opened restaurants that became known as Chifa by 1921. A census of Lima in 1613 show the presence of Chinese (and other Asians) in Peru, mainly servants (and slaves). Later, large numbers of Chinese immigrant workers arrived between 1849 and 1874, to replace African slave laborers, while Peru was in the process of abolishing slavery. So it is not a surprise that a 1903 Peruvian cookbook ("Nuevo Manual de Cocina a la Criolla") included a short description of lomo saltado. An indication of assimilation of Chinese cooking technique in Peruvian cuisine. The culinary term saltado is unique to Peru, and didn't exist in other Latin countries of that era, nor used in any Spanish cuisine terminology. This old cookbook description of the dish is very short and does not mention soy sauce or other typical Asian ingredients of the dish known today. It also does not mention black pepper, vinegar, or Peruvian chilies. A few critics incorrectly theorized a purely Peruvian origin (without foreign influence) based on this cookbook, which features an assorted variety of regional Peruvian dishes (from Arequipa, Chorrillos, Moquegua, etc. ). But this cookbook's list of traditional Peruvian Criollo cuisine includes many dishes with Spanish, Italian, Cuban, Guatemalan and Chilean origins. The 1903 cookbook is not an all-inclusive list of old Peruvian dishes available in the country, and it does not contradict the Chinese-Peruvian roots of lomo saltado. It serves as an example (the opinions of its editor) of a variety of dishes that were commonplace in Peru of that era, regardless of origin.

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