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Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry (Pollo Saltado)

by Lorena

If you need a delicious lunch idea that doesn’t take too long to make, this Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry or Pollo Saltado is a really good choice. It has many ingredients but that doesn’t make it complicated! With its soy sauce, sautéed veggies and a dash of oyster sauce, it will be your signature dish.

The World of Saltados

Pollo Saltado is the more budget-friendly version of the traditional Lomo Saltado which is made with beef tenderloin/filet. But the “saltado” world is actually pretty vast! You can make a saltado with mushrooms, shrimp or a mix of all of the above. I really really recommend that you make a surf and turf lomo saltado with shrimp ;). If there’s an ingredient that I would’ve loved to add it would be snow peas. I love them but I can rarely find them here in Chile. So if you get a hold of it, add it in with the veggies.

The classic sides for any saltado are potatoes and rice. They both are starchy which is great because they can absorb the juices from the saltado. Someone who knows what’s good will ask for a bit of sauce to be served on their rice ;). In this case, I roasted the potatoes. They’re really crispy! But of course, you can make them deep-fried as well if you prefer.


Pollo saltado

For this Peruvian chicken stir fry or pollo saltado to be perfect, it’s important to preheat the pan nicely and take time to make the chicken pieces golden. It’s those golden bits that then bring lots of flavour to the dish. For that reason, you want to give your pan plenty of time to preheat, you want to see it smoking. Then, only add enough chicken pieces to cover the base of the pan, work in batches. Leave them still for a couple of minutes so they can form a golden crust and then flip them. In this way you’ll get a perfect result every time.


Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry (Pollo Saltado)

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Course: Main, Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal

Ingredients

For the roasted potatoes

  • 1 large potato
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Peruvian-style garlic rice

  • ½ cup long-grain rice
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated, minced or puréed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½+⅛ cup water

For the Pollo Saltado

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large chicken breast or 2 small cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced, skin on, seeded
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 1 Peruvian yellow chilli deseeded and finely sliced (optional)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce optional
  • Spring onions or coriander to garnish

Instructions

For the roasted potatoes

  • Cut the potato in wedges.
  • Mix them with the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F until they're golden on the outside and soft at the centre.

For the Peruvian-style garlic rice

  • Preheat a small pot over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and salt and cook them for a minute, stirring al the time. Don't let it become golden.
  • Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the water and wait for it to break into a boil. From that moment, reduce the heat to a minimum and place the lid on top. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until there's no more water left at the bottom of the pot.

For the Pollo Saltado

  • Preheat a wok or pan at high heat. Add the oil and the chicken, only enough to fill the base of the pan. Let it get golden on one side without moving it around. Flip it and repeat al all sides. Remove the chicken and continue with the rest of the cubes if there's more.
  • Add half the soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce and let it bowl with the chicken until it thickens. Remove everything from the wok.
  • Add a bit more oil and the veggies. Sautée them until they are golden and start to become soft, about a minute. Add the rest of the soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce and let it boil until the sauce thickens.
  • Mix the chicken with the veggies and garnish with the green part of a spring onion (sliced) or coriander.
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