Authentic Carne Asada + Street Tacos
Authentic Carne Asada is all about the marinade and giving the meat time to soak in all the flavors. The fresh cilantro-garlic-lime marinade will become your go-to for Flank Steak. We use this recipe to make the best Carne Asada Mexican Street Tacos!
Thank you to Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff for sponsoring this recipe. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
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What is Carne Asada?
Carne Asada is a Mexican beef recipe that has been marinated in a well-seasoned marinade then grilled to impart charred flavor. The beef is then thinly sliced and served as a main course or as an ingredient in other dishes like street tacos or nachos. When you start with such a delicious high-quality protein, there are so many different ways you can use Carne Asada.
The Best Cuts of Beef for Carne Asada:
- Flank Steak – our preferred cut because it is lean, tender, and cooks quickly
- Skirt Steak – a thinner and tasty cut (be careful not to overcook)
- Sirloin Steak or Tenderloin Steak can also be used if that is what you have on hand
Authentic Mexican Carne Asada Marinade:
An authentic Carne Asada marinade combines the classic Mexican flavors of cilantro, lime juice, garlic and is well-seasoned with chili powder and cumin. The addition of orange juice and soy sauce tenderizes the meat and also adds rich flavor.
Pro Tip: Marinate at least 6 hours but we highly recommend marinating overnight for the best flavor.
How Long to Grill Carne Asada:
Like any steak, Carne Asada should be grilled to your desired doneness. Depending on the thickness of your steak, you will want to grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once.
Flank Steak Doneness Chart:
Since Flank Steak is a thinner cut of beef, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the side of the steak in the thickest part. A steak will continue to rise in temperature an additional approximately 5 degrees once off the grill so take it off the grill before it reaches the ideal temperature.
- Medium Rare doneness – a final temperature of 145˚F. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145˚F.
- Medium doneness – the final temperature will reach 160˚F.
How to Cut Flank Steak:
Always slice a Flank Steak or Skirt Steak against the grain. See which way the meat fibers are running and cut perpendicular to those fibers. Cutting thin slices against the grain will make it much easier to chew the steak.
Make Street Tacos for Tailgating!
Beef is always a great choice for social gatherings and is our favorite fan food for game days! No matter what tailgating might look like for you this year, Carne Asada street tacos are perfect for your next party at home. Beef up your game day menu by making a taco bar with authentic street tacos.
Classic street tacos contain Carne Asada, cilantro, white onion, and hot sauce. If you want to spruce up your taco bar, you can also add some crumbled cotija cheese, Pico De Gallo or Chimichurri Sauce to top these off.
What to Serve with Carne Asada:
Carne Asada makes an excellent main course for the ultimate Mexican food feast.
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn – with the best toppings
- Classic Guacamole – or even our Corn Guacamole
- Homemade Churros – a famous Mexican dessert
- Tres Leches Cake – the moistest cake you’ll try
Authentic Carne Asada + Street Tacos
You'll love this authentic Carne Asada recipe. If serving as Carne Asada street tacos, you'll also need small corn tortillas, cilantro, diced white onion, lime wedges and cilantro to serve.
In a large shallow bowl or casserole dish, combine the marinade ingredients: lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, chopped cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Place Flank Steak into the marinade and turn several times to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. Turn the steak once while marinating.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place marinated steak onto the hot grill and cook 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once or until the steak has reached the desired doneness (145˚F for medium-rare and 160˚F for medium doneness).
Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and rest 5-10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.
*Use tamari soy sauce for gluten-free.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen