Marinated + Grilled Carne Asada Tacos

Wildly savory, punchy, and bold, Marinated + Grilled Carne Asada Tacos are a must-have in your rotation. Marinate flank steak for 4 hours before grilling and enjoy it in tacos, salads, bowls, or straight from the cutting board because it’s just that good. Carne asada simply translates to “grilled meat” and the ingredients vary from household to household. I’m half Mexican and I joke that this recipe is too - it’s by no means authentic to any one region but it’s so flavorful and full of familiar Mexican flavors. No grill? Nooo problem. I’m breaking down how to sear this up in a cast iron skillet or grill pan as well. 

The marinade comes together with simple ingredients that yield a shocking amount of flavor. Orange and lime juice add freshness and acidity, while canned chipotle peppers in adobo add a sweet, smokey, saucy note. Simple spices and aromatics do a lot of the heavy lifting with the help of two umami-rich ingredients: tamari and worcestershire. I am a little too obsessed with the tamari from Momofuku and I am 100% living above my means using it as liberally as I do but whatever, it's so good, if you see it buy it and use it here! Their soy sauce is also amazing and fabulous in this recipe. Also while I'm waxing poetic about products, please order the duck and pork fat tortillas from Caramelo and use them here. You're welcome!

A few pro tips before cookin’: pull steak from the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling, and pat it super dry with paper towels for a great sear. If you plan to marinate any longer than 4 hours, halve the amount of tamari and worcestershire. As always, check the Riffs section at the bottom of the recipe for simple ingredient swaps.

Marinated + Grilled Carne Asada Tacos

Marinated + Grilled Carne Asada Tacos are a must-have in your rotation. Marinate flank steak for 4 hours. Enjoy in tacos, salads, bowls, or straight from the cutting board because it’s just that good. Serves 4-6 people.

Prep:
min
cook:
min
total:
min
Ingredients
  • 1 flank steak, about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced or mandolined
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle in adobo, half tablespoon sauce from the can, half tablespoon chopped up pepper from the can
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika, sweet or mild variety
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

For serving:

  • Tortillas, charred over stovetop flame and kept warm until serving
  • Finely chopped white onion, kept raw
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Optional: mild tomatillo salsa
Instructions

Prep steak + marinade 

  1. Remove flank steak from packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to shallow, rectangular baking dish, set aide.
  2. In medium sized mixing bowl whisk together all marinade ingredients until evenly incorporated. Pour marinade over steak, being sure to flip steak over and rub marinade all over. *As a note, if you don’t have a shallow dish for marianting, simply marinate steak in very large ziplock bag, or bowl covered in plastic wrap, being sure to turn it occasionally while marinating to ensure all sides get submerged.

Marinate steak

  1. Tightly cover baking dish with plastic wrap for an airtight seal, and marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours.

Cook steak

  1. Pull baking dish with marinated steak from fridge about 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Preheat grill, or cast iron skillet or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  3. Remove excess marinade from steak and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Press steak onto grill with grill-safe tongs for a good sear, leaving it for about 4-5 minutes before flipping it to the other side, pressing down again with tongs. Grill second side for another 4-5 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads at 125* F in the thickest part of the steak for medium-rare.
  5. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak at an angle against the grain. The grain refers to the direction that the muscle fibers run - you want to slice against to cut through those fibers, makes them shorter, and much more tender.

Finish + serve

  1. Enjoy thinly sliced steak in salads, in bowls, or on its own. If serving in tacos, slice steak into even smaller, bite-sized pieces, and distribute into warmed tortillas. Optional: crisp up bite-sized steak in a cast iron skillet for extra caramelization before spooning into tacos. Top with diced raw white onion, lots of fresh juicy lime, and chopped fresh cilantro. If you can get your hands on a really good tomatillo salsa, put it in a bowl at the table for serving. Enjoy tacos while warm.

Let's riff
  • The Flank Steak: Sub in a skirt steak.
  • The Soy Sauce , Tamari, + Worcestershire: Use all soy/tamari or all worcestershire if needed. If you’re gluten free or have a seafood allergy, double check the ingredients on the worcestershire, as many have anchovies and a barley malt vinegar.
  • Canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce: This is an absolute pantry staple for me - you can often find it in the same section of the grocery store that has canned tomatoes and/or jarred salsas and peppers. I usually go for the Embasa brand. In every can, there are smoked chipotle peppers sitting in sweet, spicey, smokey red sauce. The peppers are full of seeds and pack a lot of heat and the sauce is a bit more mild. I do half a tablespoon of the sauce from the can, half a tablespoon from a chopped up pepper. If you can’t find it just leave it out, or add another half tablespoon of chili powder and another half tablespoon of sweet paprika.
  • The Tortillas: Promise me you'll heat your tortillas over a stovetop flame, or a skillet that's hot enough to get them a little color. You are simply not allowed to serve this with tortillas straight from the package!! Do yourself a favor and order some Caramelo pork or duck fat taco-sized tortillas right this instant.

Comment

Did you love this? Let me know!

Name
Email
Message
Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Curtis Ingham
June 11, 2024
Amparo Helton
June 9, 2024
Rhys Pigott
June 5, 2024
Humberto Caesar
June 4, 2024
Gita Leschen
May 31, 2024
Diane Aslatt
May 31, 2024
Annetta Merchant
May 20, 2024
Brendan Bear
May 9, 2024
Nora Perry
May 8, 2024
Mark Moore
May 6, 2024
Charley McWilliam
May 5, 2024
Latesha
April 30, 2024
April 30, 2024
Maggie Covington
April 27, 2024
Gene Penny
April 21, 2024
Hilario Druitt
April 17, 2024
Tilly Killough
April 16, 2024
Jeannine Turner
April 13, 2024
Alvin Goold
April 7, 2024
Dean Baader
April 6, 2024
Frank Hardie
April 5, 2024
Elvira
April 4, 2024
Aleisha Lee
March 31, 2024
Noreen Stretch
March 28, 2024
Sherman Cruz
March 25, 2024
Ludie Key
March 23, 2024
Gini
March 20, 2024
Loved the soup. Croutons too much trouble. Fast in a cup!
Ray Beall
March 16, 2024
Richard
February 22, 2024
send me fruits to add with another fruit to cure disease
Deneen Medland
April 17, 2023
Kelle Trouton
April 17, 2023
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!
Marcus
YUM! Definitely going to pair this with a nice and funky natty white next time!
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!