Carne Asada Tacos
I’m that girl you don’t want to stand behind in line at the taco counter.
I agonize a little over which fillings to get. Should I commit to chicken, beef, shrimp, or all the above? Wish I could try a sample. Of each one.
Should I go with the mild or spicy sauce? (Like, how spicy is spicy?)
Also, is today a safe day for raw onions? Because we all know not all days should include raw onions.
Lastly, would I like to add chips ‘n salsa? No. Actually, yes. Yes, please. Now I have to hit my 10,000 daily steps for sure.
The whole taco counter thing can be a tricky situation. Thankfully, these homemade carne asada tacos are not unpredictable at all.
This tender carne asada recipe is a clear choice every single time. It leads to instant joy of the palate, no questions asked. Once you sink your teeth into these flavorful tacos, there is zero regret.
WHAT CUT OF BEEF IS USED FOR CARNE ASADA?
Skirt steak or flank steak are popular choices for carne asada. I use either of those with delicious results.
Often, skirt and flank steaks can often turn out more tough/chewy than ideal, even when you “do everything right” and even when you slice against the grain. Thus, you want a marinade that will flavor and tenderize the meat. Read on.
MARINADE INGREDIENTS FOR TENDER CARNE ASADA Tacos:
- Soy sauce: We recommend regular strength soy sauce, as it’s the only form of salt you’ll be using. A good quality soy sauce like this is important, as it will provide much better flavor. If you need gluten-free, go with Tamari soy sauce. I use that exact Tamari soy all the time because of its purity in flavor. (You may need to add a pinch of salt if using Tamari, as it contains less sodium than regular soy sauce.)
- Freshly squeezed lime juice. Lime juice provides the citrus acid that will help in tenderizing the meat while adding flavor. Avoid bottled lime juice.
- Olive in the marinade will help it adhere to the beef, as well as assist in the browning during cooking.
- A bit of sugar balances out the flavors as well as helps the meat to brown on the grill.
- As always, we aren’t shy with the garlic. I use about 6 large cloves of minced garlic in the marinade.
- Dry seasonings include plenty of cumin, ancho chili powder, and onion powder.
- Power tenderizer: Kiwi. Not a typo. It’s magical for tenderizing meats, without leaving any trace of kiwi flavor. Just be sure not to include kiwi until that last 30 minutes of marinading.
What to serve with carne asada tacos:
It’s best to keep these Mexican beef tacos real and simple. A splash of lime, avocado, and cilantro are fantastic. When you’re talking homemade carne asada tacos, it’s always a good day for fresh onions.
Don’t forget the ‘ritas. This one’s a favorite for obvious reasons: 3-Ingredient Lemonade Margaritas
You may want this this recipe, too:
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Carne Asada Tacos Recipe
- 2-3 lbs skirt or flank steak, roughly trimmed
- ¼ cup regular strength soy sauce, or Tamari, for gluten-free*
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 TB olive or canola oil
- 1 TB sugar
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 2 kiwi fruits, peeled and mashed
- Your choice of taco shells
- Toppings: Pico De Gallo, sliced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, Tapatio hot sauce
- In a 9x13 pan or large dish, add the soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, oil, sugar, cumin, onion powder, and chili powder. Use hand whisk to incorporate well. Set aside.
- Using paper towels, dab off all excess moisture from beef. Use fork to poke holes throughout beef. Place beef in the pan with marinade. Evenly coat beef on all sides, ensuring every bit of beef is well coated (if you have two steaks, ensure even coating on both.) Cover with cling wrap. Chill 3-9 hours.
- During the last 30 minutes of marinade time, evenly press mashed kiwi onto all sides of beef, making sure every part of the beef has a bit of kiwi on it. Cover and chill no more than 30 minutes max.
- Oil the grill and heat on high until smoking hot. Grill steak just until both sides are nicely charred and browned, and interior is medium rare. Cook time will vary, depending on thickness of steaks. Usually, once the exterior is nicely charred, skirt/flank steaks should be done, as they are thinner cuts.
- Transfer steak to cutting board and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, without slicing. Then, slice very thinly against the grain (perpendicular to the grain) and serve with your choice of taco shells. Garnish with your choice of toppings.