This carne asada taco recipe is perfect for taco Tuesday! This carne asada marinade infuses flavor into the skirt steak and tenderizes the meat for a few hours. After grilling the marinated skirt steak, you’re left with a tender and juicy carne asada steak, which is perfect for tacos!
All the different elements of this marinade play their own special role in making it so flavorful. All the citrus in this marinade not only lends a nice acid component to the flavor, but it also helps tenderize the meat. Another one of my favorite elements is the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This along with the smoked paprika and dark chili powder is going to give your steak that smokey depth of flavor.
Skirt steak is the perfect blank canvas for making steak tacos. The marinade helps tenderize a sometimes tough cut of meat and soaks up so much flavor in the process. Can’t find skirt steak? You can substitute flap steak or in a bigger pinch, flank steak. The cooking time will be longer for both of those alternate cuts.
You’re going to add all the ingredients to a container or ziplock bag. Skirt steaks can be pretty long, so I cut mine in half before marinating. It makes the cooking process easier when you have to flip it. I marinate this for 12-24 hours to ensure I get the most flavor and tenderness out of it.
You can cook the skirt steak either on the grill or in a cast iron pan. I have done it both ways and I enjoyed both. The grill will give you a better char on the meat and some more texture.
Skirt steak is thinner on the ends, so careful not to overcook. For medium rare I remove the steaks when they are at 125F so once they have rest, it is to temperature of 130-135F. For medium, I would remove at 130-135F.
These carne asada tacos are the perfect meal for cinco de Mayo or any taco Tuesday you’re having! Life is better when tacos are involved, that is a fact. Enjoy!
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- 1 1/2 lb skirt steak (see note #1)
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 4 chipotles in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 10 flour or corn tortillas
- 4 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a large container or large ziplock, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Place skirt steak in the marinade and push it down to submerge. Seal the container with a lid or plastic wrap, place in fridge, and marinate for 12-24 hours.
- Remove from marinade and you can prepare either on the grill or in a cast iron pan. For the grill: Set temperature to 400F. If your skirt steak is too long for the grill, cut it in half. Grill the steak for 3-5 minutes on each side. For medium rare if you're using a thermometer, you want to pull the steak off at 125F because it will still cook while resting. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Cast iron: Remove the steak from the marinade and allow it to come to temperature for 15 minutes. In a seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat, cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, remove and allow to rest before cutting.
- Slice the skirt steak against the grain (see note #3) and assemble your tacos! Enjoy!
- If you can not find skirt steak, you can use flap steak or in a pinch use flank steak. Both these substitutions will require a longer cooking time than the skirt steak.
- If the skirt steak is extremely long, you can cut it in half to make flipping on the grill easier.
- Against the grain: Opposite way of the muscle fibers, easy to find on skirt steak so you'll be cutting across the shorter length.
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