Origin: North American, Mexican
Method: Grill and Flattop or StovetopJump to Recipe
Carne Asada Street Tacos
These days food trucks seem to be in every town and on almost every corner in bigger cities. There was a time, not too long ago, where these kitchens on wheels, were far less common. As little as 15 years ago, if you saw a food truck, it was likely to be a local taco truck. In Washington State, these food trucks are still vastly popular, and have for years served the purpose of helping feed and serve many of the migrant farm workers that travel there each year to work the fields and orchards. A staple in all of these food trucks is carne asada.
The flavorful and tender steak, grilled and placed atop small, handheld corn tortillas, are one of our favorite foods whenever we are looking for a quick bite to eat.
This is one of our favorite recipes for carne asada. Here we serve it taco truck style as street tacos, but you can use the meat in a variety of dishes. We always like to make a double batch and use the leftovers in a variety of burritos along with other meats and fillings as well. My wife also loves the meat as a topping for a protein or quinoa bowl, along with grilled veggies.
Preparing the Carne Asada Tacos
Prepare the marinade
Gather all of your ingredients and then, in a small bowl, combine all of the spices with the garlic and mix into a coarse paste.
In another bowl, combine the liquid ingredients and the cilantro.
Traditionally, carne asada is made with skirt steak or flank steak which are cuts from the lower chest or abdominal muscles of the cow. Both are extremely flavorful and work very well for carne asada. You may to choose to use a more tender cut like a sirloin or ribeye, but it will not be as traditional.
Pat your steak dry, then rub the paste evenly over both sides of the steak.
For additional tenderness you may wish to use a Jaccard. We love what it does for tough cuts of meat like skirt steak and flank steak. You can read more about the Jaccard at the following link or on our Tools of Trade Page.
Place the meat in a covered bowl or plastic bag with the liquid marinade and marinate the meat for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Give the steak a quick sear
When you are ready to cook, remove the meat and reserve the marinade. Heat a grill or smoker over high heat. When your grill is at temp, sear each side of the steak for about 5 minutes.
Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes, while you prepare the next steps.
Finish the Carne Asada in a pan or skillet
Heat the reserved marinade to a boil in a skillet or in a small sauce pan on the grill or flattop, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Dice the meat and then add the meat and any juices on the cutting board to the pan.
Heat the diced meat with the marinade in the skillet until the marinade has thickened and mostly been absorbed, and the meat is cooked through.
Prepare toppings and garnishs for the Carne Asada Street Tacos
While the meat is simmering, dice up your onions and slice up some jalapenos, radishes, and chop some cilantro to top your tacos with, or add any additional toppings that you want.
Serve the carne asada tacos with your prepared toppings, slices of lime, warm corn tortillas, and some crumbled cotija cheese.
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Carne Asada Street Tacos
- Skillet or flattop grill
- Grill or Smoker
- 1 Pound Outside Skirt or Flank Steak
- 1 Garlic Clove minced
- 1/4 tea Salt
- 1/4 tea Black Pepper
- 1/4 tea White Pepper
- 1/4 tea Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tea Mexican Oregano
- 1/4 tea Cumin
- 1/4 tea Paprika
- 1/4 cup Cilantro
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Juice of 1/2 an Orange
- 1 Tab White Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- In a small bowl, combine all of the spices with the garlic and mix into a coarse paste.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the liquid ingredients and the cilantro.
- Rub the paste evenly over both sides of the steak. Then add to the bowl with the liquid ingredients.
- Marinate the meat for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Remove the meat and reserve the marinade. Heat a grill or smoker over high heat.
- Sear each side of the steak for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes, then dice the steak.
- Heat the reserved marinade to a boil in a skillet or in a small sauce pan on the grill or flattop.
- Heat the diced meat with the marinade in the skillet on the flattop until the marinade has thickened and mostly been absorbed, and the meat is cooked through.