Carne Asada Tacos Recipe

Three carne asada Mexican street tacos in corn tortilla with lime | Joshua Resnick

Step right up, taco lovers! It’s time to unleash a flavor fiesta in your kitchen with our irresistible recipe for authentic Carne Asada Tacos. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with every mouthwatering bite.

Here we’re spilling the beans on how to create a plateful of deliciousness that’s worthy of any Mexican street food vendor. Our recipe is the real deal, packed full of smoky, tender beef that’s been marinated to perfection in a zesty blend of spices.

With our step-by-step instructions, even the most novice of cooks can become a taco expert. From grilling the meat to crafting the ideal tortilla, we’ve got you covered. And don’t forget the toppings – tangy salsa, creamy guacamole, and fresh cilantro are just the beginning.

Whether you’re hosting a fiesta for friends or craving a weeknight treat, these Carne Asada Tacos are sure to satisfy. So grab your apron, fire up the grill, and let’s get cooking! Get ready to taste what authentic Mexican cuisine is all about. Ole!

History and Origins of Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos have a rich history that dates back to the Mexican ranch culture of the 19th century. The term “carne asada” translates to “grilled meat,” and it originally referred to beef that was cooked over an open flame on a ranchero’s campfire.

The tradition of grilling meat for tacos quickly spread throughout Mexico and eventually made its way to the United States, where it gained popularity in areas with a large Mexican-American population. Today, Carne Asada Tacos are beloved worldwide for their bold flavors and tender, juicy meat.


To create truly authentic Carne Asada Tacos, it’s important to use the right ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of skirt steak or flank steak
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

These ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store or Mexican market. The combination of citrus juices, soy sauce, and spices creates a mouthwatering marinade that infuses the meat with incredible flavor.

Marinating and Preparing the Meat

Before grilling, it’s crucial to marinate the meat to enhance its tenderness and taste. Start by placing the skirt steak or flank steak in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, minced jalapeno pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. This marinade will be the key to unlocking the authentic flavors of Carne Asada Tacos.

Pour the marinade over the steak, making sure it is fully coated. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it, resulting in a juicy and flavorful final product.

Grilling Techniques for Perfect Carne Asada

Grilling is the traditional method for cooking Carne Asada, as it imparts a smoky flavor that perfectly complements the marinade. Follow these grilling techniques to achieve the perfect Carne Asada:

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat. It’s important to have a hot grill to sear the meat and lock in the flavors.
  2. Remove the marinated steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This allows for more even cooking.
  3. Brush the grill grates with oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
  4. Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium doneness, depending on the thickness of the steak.
  5. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare or 145°F (63°C) for medium. This will help you achieve the perfect level of doneness.
  6. Once cooked to your desired doneness, transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a tender and juicy result.
  7. Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. This helps to break up the muscle fibers and ensures a more tender bite.

Making the Tortillas from Scratch

No authentic Carne Asada Taco is complete without a homemade tortilla. While store-bought tortillas can suffice in a pinch, there’s nothing quite like the taste and texture of a freshly made tortilla.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own tortillas:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Follow these steps to make your homemade tortillas:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Gradually add the warm water and vegetable oil to the flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and roll each one into a ball.
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball of dough into a thin, round tortilla shape. Aim for a thickness of about 1/8 inch.
  6. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and cook each tortilla for about 1 minute on each side, or until it develops golden brown spots.
  7. Keep the cooked tortillas warm by wrapping them in a clean kitchen towel or storing them in a tortilla warmer until ready to use.

Toppings and Garnishes for Carne Asada Tacos

Now that you have your perfectly grilled Carne Asada and homemade tortillas, it’s time to take your tacos to the next level with delicious toppings and garnishes. Here are some classic options to consider:

  1. Salsa: Choose a tangy salsa that complements the flavors of the carne asada. Traditional options include pico de gallo, salsa verde, or salsa roja.
  2. Guacamole: Creamy guacamole adds richness and texture to the tacos. Mash ripe avocados with lime juice, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro for a delicious homemade guacamole.
  3. Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a burst of freshness and a hint of citrus to each taco. Roughly chop the leaves and sprinkle them over the assembled tacos.
  4. Onions and Radishes: Thinly sliced red onions and radishes provide a crisp and refreshing contrast to the tender carne asada.
  5. Lime Wedges: Squeeze fresh lime juice over the tacos just before serving to add a bright and zesty kick.

Feel free to get creative with additional toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, or pickled jalapenos. The possibilities are endless, so mix and match to create the perfect combination for your taste buds.

Assembling and Serving the Tacos

Now that all the components are ready, it’s time to assemble and serve your Carne Asada Tacos. Follow these steps for a picture-perfect taco:

  1. Take a warm tortilla and place a few slices of the grilled carne asada in the center.
  2. Add your desired toppings, such as salsa, guacamole, cilantro, onions, radishes, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  3. Fold the tortilla in half, enclosing the filling, and gently press the edges together.
  4. Serve the tacos immediately while they are still warm and the flavors are at their peak.

Consider serving the tacos with traditional Mexican side dishes like refried beans, rice, or a fresh salad. This will complete the meal and provide a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience.

Pairing Suggestions for Carne Asada Tacos

To truly immerse yourself in the flavor fiesta, pair your Carne Asada Tacos with the perfect beverage. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Margarita: The classic tequila-based cocktail is a natural choice to complement the bold flavors of the tacos. Opt for a traditional margarita on the rocks or try a fruity variation like mango or watermelon.
  2. Mexican Beer: A light and refreshing Mexican lager or pilsner can be a great choice to cool down the heat from the spices. Look for popular options like Corona, Dos Equis, or Modelo.
  3. Agua Fresca: For a non-alcoholic option, consider a refreshing agua fresca. These fruit-infused beverages, such as watermelon or pineapple, provide a sweet and thirst-quenching accompaniment to the tacos.

Remember to drink responsibly and always enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation.

Enjoy your Flavor Fiesta

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our deliciously authentic Carne Asada Tacos recipe. Now it’s time to channel your inner taco aficionado and unleash the flavor fiesta in your kitchen.

With our step-by-step instructions, you’re equipped with the knowledge to create mouthwatering tacos that will transport you to the streets of Mexico. From marinating and grilling the meat to making homemade tortillas and adding the perfect toppings, every step is essential to achieving the authentic flavors of Carne Asada Tacos.

So gather your friends, fire up the grill, and let the aroma of sizzling meat and zesty marinade fill the air. It’s time to indulge in the bold, smoky, and tantalizing flavors of Carne Asada Tacos. Get ready to experience a true fiesta for your taste buds. Ole!