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Carne Asada Street Tacos are the ultimate in Mexican food.
This classic Mexican dish features grilled, juicy steak that’s been marinated in a zesty blend of herbs and spices, then served up on warm tortillas.
The best tacos in all of Mexico are in Tijuana. I might be slightly biased since I live right next door in San Diego.
Tacos de asada and agua de horchata are my favorite combination ever!
Just be sure to load them up with plenty of toppings for a taco that’s as satisfying as it is tasty.
Table of Contents
- Flap Steak (you might also see it labeled as flap meat)
- Fresh limes
- Fresh orange
- Mazola® Corn Oil
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Oregano
- White Onion
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt and Black Pepper
Flap steak, flank steak, or skirt steak are the traditional cuts of beef for these tacos.
Swap out the fresh onion for 1 tablespoon onion powder, and the fresh garlic for 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
Instead of salt, add a tablespoon of soy sauce.
We are using fresh oranges to make orange juice. Substitute for store-bought juice.
Marinating the Steak
- To start, marinate your meat in a blend of lime juice, garlic, and more.
- Let it sit for at least an hour (but preferably overnight) to allow the flavors to meld together.
One of the great things about carne asada tacos is their versatility – you can customize them to your liking and experiment with different toppings and flavors.
For example, add 1 diced chipotle in adobo sauce or 1 tablespoon chili powder for a bit more spice and flavor.
This carne asada recipe is SO easy! Bonus, you get to control the marinade ingredients.
I highly recommend marinating the beef in a sealable plastic bag and keeping it in the fridge in a large bowl. See picture above.
Any loose drippings will fall into the bowl and not in your fridge. It also makes for easy cleanup.
How to Grill Carne Asada
- Next, fire up the grill and cook your meat to your desired level of doneness.
All you need is some quality beef, a few key ingredients, and a grill or grill pan to achieve that signature smoky flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long to cook depends on the cut of beef. Heat the grill to 450 ºF. Add the thin flap steak and grill for 5-6 minutes per side. If using flank steak the cook time is slightly different. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 ºFF for medium rare. 7-8 minutes on each side for medium. Mazola® Corn Oil is the best choice for grilling, because it has a high smoke point of 450ºF, whereas other cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil, range between 325-400ºF.
Carne means “meat.” The word asada means “grilled.” Together, it means “grilled meat.”
Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add the steak and grill for 5-6 minutes per side. For flank steak, grill until it reaches an internal temperature of 130ºF for medium-rare.
Grilling above the meat are Cebollitas Asadas. They are very common at taquerias, food trucks, and family BBQs.
One thing to keep in mind is that carne asada is best when it’s cooked quickly over high heat.
So, make sure your grill is hot before adding the meat, and don’t overcook it or it will become tough and dry.
- With a sharp knife, cut into thin slices against the grain on a cutting board.
- Or, dice up the meat. Whichever you prefer.
How to Keep the Meat Warm:
Place the grilled meat in a large dish that’s oven-proof and cover with aluminum foil. Once you’re done grilling, place the meat in a 275ºF warm oven until you’re ready to serve.
Here, we are using Mazola® Corn Oil in the marinade. It’s a heart-healthy* cooking oil that has multiple purposes – baking, grilling, even good for marinades. Plus, it’s high smoke point of 450ºF and neutral flavor make it the perfect choice for this street taco recipe.
Did you know Mazola® Corn Oil is also officially Heart-Check certified by the American Heart Association?!
The Heart-Check is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they purchase, and by having an all-purpose cholesterol free** cooking oil on hand like Mazola® Corn Oil you’re always certain to prepare easy and delicious meals for you and the whole family!
Warm corn tortillas on a hot griddle. Nowadays, you can find the small corn tortillas at the grocery store just like in Tijuana. Use either regular sized or the small ones. FYI, tacos are hardly ever made with flour tortillas.
Now it’s time to add the taco toppings! Street tacos usually have just a few simple toppings, such as cilantro, raw onion, and lime wedges.
But feel free to get creative and add your favorite toppings, such as avocado, queso fresco, or pico de gallo.
Get ready to sink your teeth into the ultimate Mexican recipe: Carne Asada Street Tacos.
With juicy, tender steak, fresh toppings, and soft corn tortillas, these tacos are a mouthwatering explosion of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.
HUNGRY FOR MORE?
Did you make this recipe? Please rate the recipe below!
Carne Asada Street Tacos
- 12 corn tortillas
- cilantro chopped
- onion diced
- lime (halved)
- favorite salsa
- Add all the marinade ingredients in a large plastic, sealable bag.
- Add the steak and zip up the bag.
- Make sure the bag is firmly closed.
- Then, mix the marinade with the steak.
- Place in the fridge for an hour, up to overnight.
- Heat the grill to 450 degrees F.
- Add the flap steak and grill for 5-6 minutes per side.
- If using flank steak the cook time is slightly different. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 ºFF for medium rare. 7-8 minutes on each side for medium.
- Cook until desired wellness.
- Let rest before slicing (or dicing)
- Warm tortillas.
- Add chopped meat to tortillas.
- Top with cilantro, onion, and salsa.
- Swap out the fresh onion for 1 tablespoon onion powder, and the fresh garlic for 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
- Instead of salt, add a tablespoon of soy sauce.
- We are using fresh oranges to make orange juice. Substitute for store-bought juice.
*See www.mazola.com for information about the relationship between corn oil and heart disease.
**Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16g) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Maggie Unzueta is the writer/blogger, photographer, recipe developer, videographer, and creator of In Mama Maggie's Kitchen. She has been developing easy and authentic Mexican food, Mexican-inspired recipes, and traveling tips since 2010. From family recipes to her extensive travels throughout Mexico, she brings traditional Mexican flavors from South of the Border and into your kitchen. Maggie has been featured in notable culinary websites and other media outlets. For more details, check out her About page.