Pollo saltado is a popular Peruvian stir fry dish that is made up of marinated chicken strips, onions, tomatoes and mixed in with french fries.
Even though potato fries are used in this recipe, you’ll commonly find boiled rice accompanying this pollo saltado dish when being served in authentic Peruvian restaurants or with traditional family recipes.
Over the years, the recipe has been altered here and there to suit different people’s taste buds but the main components have pretty much stayed the same.
I’ll be sharing 8 of the most amazing pollo saltado recipes with you today, some of which have different ingredients that you can use to put a twist on this well-loved recipe.
1. Pollo Saltado With Tamari & Pisco by Avocado Pesto
This recipe is super rich and tasty due to the tamari and pisco that are used to create a glaze with the juicy sauce of the tomatoes.
If you don’t have pisco then you can use cognac or brandy instead and you can even use coconut aminos instead of tamari if you want to make the recipe paleo.
Vicky, the owner of Avocado Pesto made this dish in a cooking class whilst on her travels around Peru and has perfected the recipe back at home to share.
It’s best made in a wok over a gas stove so you can achieve the big flames when the pisco is added.
2. Pollo Saltado With Soy Sauce & Honey by The Spruce Eats
If you want a bit of sweetness to balance out some of the spices used in this traditional recipe then why not try The Spruce Eat’s rendition of pollo saltado that has soy sauce and honey added to it.
The honey works perfectly with the cumin, paprika, and aji panca paste to marinate the chicken to create an amazing flavor.
For a more intense flavor, they recommend marinating the chicken for up to 48 hours before you plan on cooking the recipe.
It’ll only take around 15 minutes to cook, so ideal if you’re short of time one day but still want some tasty grub.
3. Pollo Saltado With Soy Sauce & Red Wine Vinegar by The Missing Lokness
This recipe by the Missing Loch Ness uses boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast which I absolutely love. The chicken thighs soak up all the richness of the sauce and it’s so succulent, even when you reheat your leftovers.
The recipe also uses frozen french fries so you can begin cooking the rest of your ingredients and then add in the oven fries when they’re finished to save you some time.
To create the Peruvian sauce you’ll need low sodium chicken broth, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, cilantro, and plenty of salt and pepper to season.
4. Pollo Saltado With Oyster Sauce by Cravings Journal
This pollo saltado recipe by Cravings Journal is irresistible and has more common Asian ingredients than the rest of my recommendations.
I love the addition of the oyster sauce that gives it a rich salty flavor that you’d find with Asian beef stir fry dishes.
It’s also topped with chopped spring onions that add a sharpness to the dish that contrasts with some of the sweeter ingredients used to make the sauce.
This recipe comes with wedges on the side of the dish instead of mixing in with the meat and the other ingredients, but you do either way.
5. Baked Pollo Saltado by The Candid Appetite
A traditional pollo saltado is fried in a pan or a wok on the stove, whereas this Candid Appetite recipe has put a twist on it. You’ll be making this dish in a large skillet or dutch oven and putting it in the oven to bake instead.
They use both bone-in chicken thighs and legs to be more economical but you can use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
If you want to stay authentic with this dish then they’ve also given you the ingredients to make your own aji Verde sauce so you won’t have to go out and buy any.
6. Pollo Saltado With Teriyaki Sauce by Delish D’Lites
This take on the pollo saltado by Delish D’Lites is packed full of flavor thanks to the teriyaki sauce, honey, chipotle, and seasoning.
The recipe skimps on the usual french fries that are traditionally used but you can add those back in, although it is served with rice so you’ll be getting your daily dose of carbs alright.
Finish off the dish by sprinkling some green onions and serving some slices of creamy avocado and you’re good to go.
7. Saltado de Pollo by The Kremer Family
Inka Mama is an award-winning Peruvian restaurant in California and they serve up some of the best saltado de pollo you’ll find in the US.
However, The Kremer Family blog knows not everyone could take a trip to Cali every time they wanted some authentic Peruvian cuisine so recreated the recipe for themself.
They advise brining your chicken for 30 minutes to keep it moist when you begin frying it in the pan.
8. Pollo Saltado With Rosemary Fries by Sprinkle DIY
The pairing of rosemary french fries with the pollo saltado in this recipe is just genius, who would have thought?
They also recommend you to marinate your chicken overnight in the spices and the poultry seasoning so it has tons of flavor when you come to fry it off.
You can also add honey to this recipe to make the sauce sweeter and thicker, which pairs well with the soy sauce and contrasts against the spices and black pepper.
Pollo Saltado FAQ
Where does pollo saltado come from?
Pollo saltado originates from Peru, however, the dish is a chicken alternative to the more popular dish lomo saltado (beef stir fry).
This lomo saltado dish is a part of Chifa tradition (the Chinese cuisine of Peru) but now it has become known as a popular Peruvian dish and is enjoyed outside non-Chinese cuisines in the country.
However, the term saltado is unique to Peruvian cuisine and is not used in other Latin American countries and it is also not used as part of Spanish terminology to describe this sort of cooking.
A 1613 census in Lima, Peru showed the presence of lots of Chinese and other Asian people currently living there and by 1874 those numbers had grown even more.
By the 1920s many Chinese Peruvians had opened up restaurants that were known as Chifa. The first lomo saltado dish was born on what is now known as Calle Capon (Capon Street) which was and still as Lima’s Chinatown.
A 1903 cookbook that features the recipe lomo saltado (beef version of pollo saltado) does not include the ingredients soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, and Peruvian chilies, all of which are traditionally used today to make the recipe.
What are the main traditional ingredients in pollo saltado?
The main ingredients in pollo saltado are chicken strips, french fries, red onion, tomatoes, soy sauce, bell peppers, red wine vinegar, chilis, and herbs and spices.
The aji amarillo is a yellow chili pepper commonly used in this recipe whether that be fresh or in the form of paste.
Where can I buy aji amarillo?
You may be able to find fresh, canned, or paste aji amarillo at Peruvian markets or even some Mexican markets. Some regular grocery stores do sell aji amarillo paste in the international aisle or by the spices section.
You can also buy aji amarillo on Amazon.
If you can’t manage to get your hands on some form of aji amarillo then the habanero pepper is a good substitute to use for this recipe.
How long does pollo saltado take to make?
The pollo saltado recipe can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on how you plan to make the french fries.
If you’re frying homemade fries on the stove then the process will be quicker, however, if you’re going to be baking frozen french fries in the oven then it’ll take you up to 30 minutes to bake and then fry the chicken and veggies.
How to store pollo saltado?
You can store this recipe once it’s cooked in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days as long as you plan to eat it within that time. The sauce will prevent the chicken from drying out when you reheat it.
If you don’t plan to eat it again within a few days then you can also store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.