Taste of Peru from La Mar Miami

Renowned Chef Diego Oka Mandarin Miami La Mar

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Recently I had an opportunity to take a cooking lesson via live stream on the web from

La Mar Restaurant at the Mandarin Miami with renowned Chef Diego Oka (seen left) What a treat!


Chef Oka demonstrated three classic Peruvian dishes.

The first was Cebiche Classico, a beautiful fresh fish dish in which “the raw fish “is lightly cooked” in a flavourful marinade of lime and hot peppers, fish stock, and the flavours of garlic and onion. Chef Oka shared a surprising fact; Cebiche originates from Japan’s influence in Peru.


The second dish the chef prepared was called Lomo Saltado. I cooked along as Chef Oka explained that this savoury beef dish served on rice with crispy potatoes wedges, evolved from the Chinese influence in Peru. The Chef explained that searing the beef over very high heat to make it crispy and brown is the key to the dish and is similar to cooking with a wok. The elements of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and oyster with green onion also show the Chinese inspiration in this tasty beef dish. (Left my version close up and full shot made cooking with Chef Oka via livestream)

 Gracey cooks with Chef Oka

Lomo Saltado

2 ounces of chicken stock with 1 tbsp. of thickener stirred in (I used corn starch as it was suggested)

12 ounces slice beef tenderloin

4 ounces of canola oil

¼ tsp. garlic

¼ tsp. gingerbeef2

4 ounces (mixture equal parts of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and white vinegar)

8 ounces of plum tomatoes cut in wedges (2)

4 ounces of red onion thickly sliced (2)

Green onions cut in 4 inch lengths bottoms removed

Cilantro – stems removed to garnish



Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper.

Fry the tenderloin until just cooked through.

Remove the meat and wipe the pan.

Sauté the onions until they are transparent.

Stir in the tomato, garlic, and ginger, and sauté until the tomatoes soften.

Return meat to the pan.

Pour in the chicken stock and soy mixture and cook for an additional three minutes, until the meat is fully cooked and the liquid reduces.

Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro and serve with fried potato wedges and white rise with Choclo. Choclo is very large kernel Peruvian corn.


Lomo Saltado is a delicious and savoury dish perfect for fall’s cooler evenings. I found the generous amount would make three servings at my house with rice and salad. If you enjoy beef try this. You won’t be disappointed.


Chef Oka finished his demonstration by preparing a chocolate mousse. His surprising twist on the classical French technique was adding toasted quinoa as a garnish – a great idea. I can’t wait to try it.


Along with the exciting outdoor adventure and rich culture diversity that Peru is famous for, it is also a sophisticated culinary destination that will delight and tempt the most jaded foodie. In Miami the destination for authentic Peruvian dining in an elegant setting is La Mar at the Miami Mandarin.