Carne Asada – amazingly juicy and tender grilled skirt steak soaked in a flavor-packed marinade full of Mexican flavors. Best served as stuffings for tacos or burritos, and more just in time for Cinco de Mayo. It’s going to be a hit with everyone!
Although Cinco de Mayo (and Mother’s Day) celebration will be totally different this year, I am still going with my initial plan. And that is to celebrate it at home with my family and our favorite Mexican food on the table. It’s hard to pick on which ones should be included on the menu, but this, Mexican’s Carne Asada is sure to be right on top of the list.
This steak here is as good as you can get at those restaurants at a fraction of the price. It’s full of authentic Mexican flavors, very juicy, and tender grilled meat. You know when it’s DELICIOUS when people want seconds or thirds of it!
What is Carne Asada?
The term “carne asada” literally translates to “grilled meat”. That grilled meat can be either skirt steak or flank steak. Personally, I love using skirt steak for this recipe as it is quite tender and more flavorful than flank steak. And if you are that “well-done-meat kind of guy/gal”, you’ll love how you can enjoy this steak recipe without being too chewy nor dry.
But if you can’t find any of those two, you can use other beef cuts that are still flavorful but not necessarily too tender or lean. Alternatives can be a sirloin flap meat or even a thinly sliced tenderloin or short loin steaks. Even trimmed brisket would work fine.
Carne Asada Marinade Recipe
The key to a winning Asada recipe is the marinade. The marinade should not only tenderizes the meat but also infuse incredible flavor into it.
Adding pineapple or orange juice into our marinade not only brings additional flavor note, but also acts as a natural tenderizer for our meat. These fruity notes complement the earthy seasonings. You see, we don’t go crazy with the ingredients as we also want the beef flavor of our meat to shine.
We marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, but for best results, I highly recommend marinating the steak overnight. You’d totally taste the difference.
- lime – a nice tangy citrus flavor to add some acidity to the meat
- soy sauce – salty marinades like soy sauce is an easy way to give some rich flavor to tough cuts of meat (if you’re using a flank steak) and it also helps the meat stay moist and juicy.
- minced garlic – by cutting garlic into smaller pieces you can really get the flavor and aroma to soak into the meat. find this in a jar or mince it yourself by cutting into tiny pieces using my guide here.
- pineapple or orange juice – another tangy kick to add to the flavor
- oregano – is an herb with pungent smell and taste but creates lovely flavors when added to a dish
- cumin – has earthy, pungent, and mildly bitter taste but makes any dish flavorful
- white pepper – a milder spice that has a less complex flavor than its black pepper counterpart. It still gives you a kick of heat! I’ll give you that.
- onion powder – this dried seasoning distributes the rich onion flavor evenly throughout the meat.
- cilantro – (optional) add freshly cut pieces and sprinkle in. I personally love the aroma and fresh flavor but if you are one of those who doesn’t like cilantro, just leave it out completely.
For those who don’t have access to soy sauce, you may use Maggi’s seasoning sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Worcestershire sauce. And that’s just about it.
Can You Cook Carne Asada Indoors?
I’d say we’re pretty lucky here in L.A. as we get more sunny days compared to other places here in the U.S. But don’t worry, you can always cook this meaty baby here on the stovetop.
- Heat Skillet – simply heat a large heavy skillet, a cast-iron preferably, over high heat
- Cook – cook the meat for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your meat or until the desired doneness is achieved.
Ways to Serve Carne Asada
Before you get too excited, remember to let the carne asada steak rest first for 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain. Then you can serve it with warm rice or with this Mexican Rice. Or you can use it as toppings or fillings to nachos, burritos, salads, and asada tacos. You might also need to check out these recipes here below.
More Grilled Meat Recipes
How To Make Carne Asada
- Combine the ingredients: In a small bowl combine soy sauce, garlic, pineapple juice, oregano, cumin white pepper, and onion powder.
- Add in the meat: Place skirt steak in a large bowl or gallon-size sealable bag, add cilantro, mix well with skirt steak.
- Marinate: Marinate for at least 2 hours or refrigerated until ready to cook. You may let it refrigerate for up to 24 hours for optimum flavor.
- Preheat grill to medium-high: When ready to grill, drain the skirt steak and use paper towels to pat dry. Brush and oil the grill grate.
- Grill the meat: Place skirt steaks on the hot grate and grill for3-4 minutes per side for medium or until the steak has a deep brown crust. Cooking times might vary depending on the thickness of the skirt steak. You can equally cook skirt steak in a cast iron.
- Remove and Rest: Once done, remove from heat and place on a cutting board, let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.
- ½ -1 lime (about 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice)
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup pineapple juice or orange juice
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1- 1 ½ pound skirt steak , trimmed
- 2-3 tablespoons cilantro
- In a small bowl combine soy sauce, garlic, pineapple juice, oregano, cumin white pepper, and onion powder.
- Place skirt steak in a large bowl or gallon size sealable bag, add cilantro, mix well with skirt steak and marinate for at least 2 hours or refrigerated until ready to cook. You may let it refrigerate for up to 24 hours for optimum flavor.
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- When ready to grill, drain the skirt steak and use paper towels to pat dry.
- Brush and oil the grill grate. Place skirt steaks on the hot grate and grill for3-4 minutes per side for medium or until steak has a deeply brown crust. Cooking times might vary depending on thickness of skirt steak.
- You can equally cook skirt steak in a cast iron.
- Once done, remove from heat and place on a cutting board, let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- If you are one of those who doesn’t like cilantro, just leave it out completely.
- For those who don’t have access to soy sauce, you may use Maggi’s seasoning sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Alternatively, you can cook the steak on the stovetop. Heat a large heavy skillet, a cast-iron preferably, over high heat, and cook the meat for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your meat or until the desired doneness is achieved.
- Serve this with my homemade tortillas, pico de gallo, and this black bean and corn salad.