1 cup corn oil (for frying--most of this won't be consumed!)
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into French-fry-sized pieces
12-14 ounces steak substitute-- Morningstar beef-like strips, seitan, or large textured
soy protein chunks rehydrated in broth
1 large onion, cut into strips like the French fries (red is nice)
1 large ripe tomato, sliced into rounds, then halved into half-moons
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (Peruvian food is usually very salty, so use your own taste to
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 moderately hot peppers, cut into fine rounds or slivers
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon minced ginger, optional (less typical)
2 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional (fancy!)
1 clove garlic, minced, optional (not an atypical inclusion)
mounds of fluffy white rice, for serving (or sub in brown rice)
Heat corn oil in a wok or skillet over moderate heat. When good and hot, add potatoes and French fry them until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. (I have subbed in oven fries made with far less oil, as I hate to deep-fry-- and baked frozen fries, although they are not nearly as good.)
Carefully pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stir-fry unbeef, vegetables, and seasonings (except tamari!) until onions are tender-crisp, the unbeef is sizzling, and the whole stir-fry is expressing a little pot liquor. The ginger and/or garlic would go in with the whole if you wish to include them, but they're really not standard.
Add tamari (or you may omit it, but I think it never tastes right without it). Fold in French fries and heat for a couple minutes, till they are incorporated. Sprinkle on the minced cilantro if desired.
Serve alongside mountains of rice for a tasty, unusual meal. Peruvians like to mold their rice in a custard cup, mini-bundt, or special serving mold and then turn it out so that it makes a flat-topped cylinder on the plate. Serving sizes for Peruvian dinners tend to be generous! Yes, the mixed starches are traditional. :)
This (made with beef, of course) is one of Peru's beloved national dishes. It's Chinese-Peruvian in origin, well-seasoned without being particularly spicy, and very tasty.