Carne Asada Tacos (Street Taco Style!)

One of the greatest luxuries of living in Los Angeles is that you’re never more than a few blocks away from a street vendor selling some of the best tacos you’ve ever had in your life. Luckily, for those not in Los Angeles or Mexico, street tacos can be recreated at home with this simple recipe for succulent and juicy carne asada!

Two tacos, two lime wedges and sliced radishes on a white paper plate surrounded by Mexican sodas and cups of salsa.

For anyone that doesn’t live just down the street from a taco truck, I’ve got good news for you! Carne Asada is very easy to make at home. All you need is thinly cut steak–think skirt steak or flap meat–and my flavor-packed carne asada marinade made with soy sauce, citrus juice, chipotle peppers, herbs and spices.

Whether you’re feeding a crowed or just looking for a fast and easy Taco Tuesday recipe these Carne Asada tacos are sure to hit the spot!

If you love this recipe be sure to check out my other favorite street tacos: Sheet Pan Chicken Tacos al Pastor and Baja Style Beer-Battered Fish Tacos!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Carne Asada Marinade: soy sauce, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, onion, cilantro, dried oregano, orange and lime juice.

Toppings and Extras: corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, salsa and lime wedges.

a white oval platter with raw skirt steak, small bowls filled with spices, a large bowl with oranges, limes, garlic bulbs, onion and cilantro, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and a small glass bowl of neutral oil.

What is a Carne Asada Street Taco?

Served from carts or trucks stationed in off hours parking lots or quite side streets, street tacos are perfect in their simplicity. They’re designed to be eaten on the go, with one hand, while standing or propped up on the trunk of a car. Street tacos aren’t served with cheese, sour cream, guacamole or rice and beansand trust me you wont miss them.

Instead, Mexican-American chefs churn out tacos on soft and warm corn tortillas–sometimes made by hand right then and there–double stacked and generously filled with juicy, succulent, well-seasoned grilled steak. The toppings are simple, chopped onion and cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and a choice between 4-5 different salsas of varying spice levels. Tomatillo and Creamy Avocado salsa are my go-to’s. Thinly sliced radish and ice-cold Mexican sodas are available if you need to cool off you palate.

Recipe Step by Step:

Step 1. Marinate the Steak

The marinade can be made in a blender or food processor. Pour it over the meat along with the thinly sliced onions. Marinate for at least 3 hours or up to 24.

left: marinade being poured over steak from a blender. right: skirt steak marinating thinly sliced onion.

Step 2. Grill

Carne Asada literally means “grilled meat”. If you have access to a grill or outdoor BBQ go for it. You can also use a stove-top grill pan or cast iron pan. This double sided cast iron grill pan from lodge is my favorite! Cook the meat until it’s charred and cooked through. Then transfer to a clean baking tray to rest.

left: a baking tray filled with grilled, marinated steak. right: a cutting board and knife chopping grilled steak.

Step 3. Serve

Let the carne asada rest for 3-5 minutes to lock in the juices. On a large cutting board with a sharp knife, finely dice the steak.

Two close up photos of tacos on white plates, one with green salsa and one with red salsa.

Serve with warm corn tortillas, diced onion and cilantro and your favorite store-bought or homemade salsas like Creamy Avocado Salsa or Tomatillo Salsa.

A paper plate filled with two tacos, sliced radish and a small cup of salsa verde.

FAQs and Expert Tips

What is carne asada?

Carne Asada–”grilled meat” in English–is typically made from thin cuts of marinated beef like skirt steak, flank or flap meat. Marinade recipes vary but usually consist of a combination or citrus juice, chilis, herbs and spices. The marinade not only flavors the beef but tenderizes it too resulting in tender and juicy steak. Carne asada, sometimes called just “asado”, can be served on it’s own just as you would steak or stuffed into tacos, burritos, salads and more.

What should I serve with carne asada tacos?

Carne asada tacos should be served with diced onion and cilantro, lime wedges and salsa. You can also serve side dishes like Refried Beans and rice, Jicama Slaw, Mexican Street Corn. Thirsty? Don’t forget The Perfect Mezcal Margarita!

Check Out More Delicious Recipes:

I love to hear from readers and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give it a rating! Don’t forget to follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest updates!

Two tacos, two lime wedges and sliced radishes on a white paper plate surrounded by Mexican sodas and cups of salsa.

Carne Asada Tacos (Street Taco Style!)

These juicy and succulent carne asada tacos taste like they just came off of a taco truck! Serve with warm and soft corn tortillas, diced onion and cilantro and your favorite salsa.
5 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 3 hours
Servings: 4
Calories: 710kcal

Ingredients

Carne Asada

  • 2 lbs skirt steak or flap meat
  • 1/2 white onion thinly sliced

Marinade

  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c neutral oil grapeseed, canola oil etc.
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 orange juice and zest
  • 3 limes juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Toppings and Extras

Instructions

  • Place the steak and sliced onions in a large bowl or baking dish. In a blender or food procesor blend together the marinade ingredients until smooth. Pour the marinade over the steak and onions, tossing to coat. Cover and refriderate for at least 2-3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Heat a grill, grill pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Grill the steak in batches, for 3-4 minutes, undisturbed on each side until it's slightly charred and cooked through. Transfer the cooked steak to a clean tray or platter to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the steak against the grain into long strips then cut those strips into a small bite-sized dice.
  • Transfer the diced carne asada to a bowl or platter and top with any residual juices or drippings from the cutting board. Serve with warm corn tortillas, salsa, lime wedges and diced onion and cilantro.

Notes

 
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
  • Steak: Skirt steak or flap meat is the best cut for carne asada and it’s widely available in grocery stores. If you have a Mexican or Latin market in your area they will have lots of options.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: these come in a small can and pack a punch of spice and flavor! If you can’t find chipotle in adobo you can substitute with harissa paste, hot sauce, gochujang or sriracha.
 
  • Storing and Re-heating Leftovers:
  • Leftover carne asada can be stored covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat over high-heat in a cast iron pan with a few tablespoons of water for moisture. 

Special Equipment:
Cast Iron Grill Pan | Shop Craving California’s Kitchen Essentials

Nutrition

Calories: 710kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 2306mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1630IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 7mg
Did you make this recipe?Share a picture on Instagram and tag me: @Craving_California and use the hashtag: #CravingCalifornia!
Two plates of tacos, cups of salsa, Mexican sodas and napkins.

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the best. Have made it several times and it’s always a hit.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Your recipes make us look good.

  2. 5 stars
    My husband is a super picky eater, but he LOVED this recipe when I made it. He immediately said that we should invite friends over for this meal! Thanks for a GREAT ONE!

    (I used ribeye because the butcher didn’t have any skirt or flank today. It was fabulous and I only marinated for about an hour! Couldn’t believe how well the flavors settled into the meat.)

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve always tried to make carne asada tacos but they were never to my liking. Then I decided to give your recipe a try, let me tell you, they were bomb! Made these tacos 3 days in a row. They were delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    These are excellent! So much flavor and after several failed recipes for street tacos- THIS is the one I’ll be using for good. Dang they were tasty!