This popular Peruvian dish comes together fast, but delicious. Typically it features French fries, but the substitution of plantains seemed fitting and lends the dish an extra layer of texture and flavor.
Canola oil, for frying
2 large plantains (or three medium ones), peeled and cut into 1” rounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1”-thich by about 3”-long strips against the grain
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cut in half and then thinly sliced
1 TBSP aji Amarillo paste
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP white vinegar
Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
Add 1”-worth of canola oil to a large cast-iron skillet. Bring to high heat and add the plantains, cooking for about 3 minutes per side, until they’re golden brown. Remove to a clean cutting board, cover with parchment paper, and press with a dish or can to flatten the rounds. Return to the hot oil and fry for an additional minute; transfer to a wire rack to drain and sprinkle with salt.
Let the oil cool until it’s safe to handle. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, and pour off the oil from the skillet (reserve to a container for future use), leaving a thin coating at the bottom. Heat the skillet back to high and add the steak, getting a good sear on each side, about 7 minutes total, and then removing to a plate to rest. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water or stock if necessary.
Lower the heat to medium and add the red onion. Cook until softened, stirring fairly frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and Amarillo paste; cook until the tomatoes are soft but haven’t lost their shape, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir well to coat the onions and tomatoes, allowing to cook for another minute.
Add the plantains and steak to the pan and mix well, so that everything has mingled together. Taste, adjust seasonings as desired, and serve immediately, topped with chopped cilantro and with rice on the side, if you like.