Traditional recipes

Carne Asada

Carne Asada

Mexican-style skirt steak on your backyard grill? Yes it can (and should be done)—here's how to take this carne asada recipe home.


  • 2 bunches green onions (about 12), dark green tops trimmed
  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut crosswise into 6-inch-wide pieces
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced
  • Salsa Mexicana (get recipe)

Recipe Preparation

  • Prepare barbecue (high heat). Grill chiles and onions until charred all over, about 3 minutes for onions and 5 minutes for chiles. Transfer onions to plate; tent with foil. Transfer chiles to large bowl; cover with plastic and let stand 15 minutes. Peel and seed; cut into 1-inch-wide strips. Transfer to plate; tent with foil.

  • Rub steak with garlic; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Grill until cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to work surface; cool 5 minutes. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side. Cut steak crosswise into strips; transfer to plate.

  • Serve steak with tortillas, chiles, green onions, avocado slices, lime wedges, and Salsa Mexicana.

Recipe by Steven Raichlen,Reviews Section

Authentic Carne Asada Recipe

This tender Carne Asada recipe is flavorful and proof that sometimes all you need is a few simple ingredients to make a delicious meal! Juicy, tender grilled flank steak full of incredible Mexican flavors makes this homemade Carne Asada recipe the best you’ve ever had!

How to make Carne Asada Recipe


  • Place the flank steak in a large baking dish and, if using the sliced onion, spread the slices over the meat. (Please check the ingredients list below)
  • In a medium-sized bowl mix together the orange juice, lime juice, light beer, Kikkoman SoySauce, vegetable oil, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Pour the marinade over the meat cover with a plastic film and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Light up your charcoal grill, or preheat your gas grill. And brush your grill with a little vegetable oil.
  • Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Place meat on the grill and cook for 8 to 10 minutes per side. Remove meat from grill and place it on your cutting board. Slice it and serve it with corn tortillas.

  • Place the cooked meat on a preheated cast iron pan, add a few drops of Soy Sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

It is best to enjoy a cut of roast meat that is freshly cooked and served while still smoking.

Marinade Ingredients for tender carne asada:

  • Soy sauce is typically a key player. We recommend regular strength soy sauce, as it’s the only form of salt you’ll be using. A decent quality soy sauce like this one is important, as it will provide much better flavor. If you need gluten-free, go with Tamari soy sauce. Even though we aren’t gluten free, I use that exact Tamari soy all the time because of its purity in flavor. (You may need to add a pinch or two of salt if using Tamari soy, as it tends to have less sodium than regular soy sauce.)
  • You’ll want fresh limes for freshly squeezed lime juice. Lime juice provides the citrus acid that will help in tenderizing the meat while adding flavor. Avoid bottled lime juice.
  • Olive or canola oil in the marinade will help it adhere to the beef, as well as assist in the browning during cooking.
  • It may sound random, but a bit of sugar always goes into our marinades, as it balances out the flavors as well as helps the meat to brown on the grill.
  • As always, we aren’t shy with the garlic. I use about 6 large cloves of minced garlic in the marinade.
  • Dry seasonings include plenty of cumin, ancho chili powder, and onion powder.

How To Make Carne Asada

Now that you’ve got your marinade ingredients lined up, let’s get grilling! Here’s how to make this delicious carne asada.

  • Marinate: Whisk all of your marinade ingredients together and marinate your steak for 1-4 hours in the fridge.
  • Grill: Once your steak has marinated, heat a grill on medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes each side, for a flank steak. That’ll get you a good char on the outside but maintain a medium-rare inside. Depending on the thickness of your meat and personal preference, feel free to adjust this cook time.
  • Rest: After your steak has cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice: Thinly slice the meat against the grain for the most tender pieces. From there, you can chop it into smaller, bite-sized pieces for use in other recipes.

Carne Asada

Yield: 6 servings

prep time: 4 hours 30 minutes

cook time: 15 minutes

total time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange + lime juice, garlic, jalapeno and cumin make for the easiest and most flavorful marinade. SO SO GOOD.


  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak


  1. In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 1 teaspoon pepper set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and remaining cilantro mixture marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.
  3. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Add steak to grill, and cook, flipping once, until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes.
  5. Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.

Did you Make This Recipe?

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  • ▢ 8 garlic cloves crushed and peeled
  • ▢ 1 (26-ounce) bottle dry red wine
  • ▢ 3 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste (or substitute 4 1/2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade tomato paste
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon chopped oregano leaves
  • ▢ 2 bay leaves
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • ▢ 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • ▢ Kosher salt to taste
  • ▢ 1 (4-pound) boneless chuck roast* tied
  • ▢ Freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢ 3 tablespoons olive oil or more as needed
  • ▢ 2 large yellow onions coarsely chopped
  • ▢ 1 cup water
  • ▢ 1 1/2 pounds Portuguese chouriço linguiça, or dry-cured smoked Spanish chorizo, cut into several pieces
  • ▢ 1 1/2 pounds golf-ball size red potatoes peeled
  • ▢ 1/2 pound baby carrots
  • ▢ Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish



*What can I use instead of chuck roast?

What kind of meat is chuck roast?

Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This Portuguese carne assada is an international twist on what could be likened to a standard pot roast dinner but with way more zip and flavor. It will require a full afternoon in the kitchen but still allows you time to catch up on a favorite book or show in between checking the meat. I highly recommend making this on a cloudy Sunday in autumn as your belly will be fully satisfied for the week ahead.

I used a bottle of Pinot Noir from A to Z Vineyards in Oregon and regular tomato paste. I marinated the meat for 2 hours. I had enough liquid to entirely cover the meat so no turning of the meat was necessary. The sauce was a nice consistency, not too thin or thick and no additional simmer time was needed. This meal will serve 12 and will a be a great meal to have as leftovers during the week.

I thought this carne assada was a delicious and flavorful roast. I used a Casa del Toro Cabernet/Merlot blend and marinated the roast overnight.

The roast has tons of flavor from the paprika, wine, and garlic. I will definitely make this again without the sausage just to please the house critics. (My tasters liked the dish but didn't care for the addition of the sausage.)


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


I had to come back to your website and thank you. This is one of the yummiest meals I’ve ever made. ALL of my kids loved it, and it was a HUGE hit. THANK YOU!!

You’re welcome, Michelle! We’re delighted that you loved this as much as we do.

Other Meats for Carne Asada

The authentic Mexican carne asada often calls for skirt steak or flank steak. But you may use sirloin steak, tenderloin steak, or rib steak instead.

I prefer skirt steak over other cuts because it is tastier and more tender than flank steak yet inexpensive when compared with the other meats cited above.

Another advantage is skirt steak contains more marbling (streaks of fat) than flank steak (a leaner cut) which makes the meat more tender, taking less time to marinate.

But all the meats mentioned above make great grilled marinated carne asada.

Best Steak for Carne Asada

Skirt steak or flank steak are the most popular choices for making carne asada, but did you know you can make it with other cuts of beef? Flank or skirt steak are not required. You can make carne asada with ribeye, tenderloin, sirloin and other cuts of beef. The choice is yours.

I prefer flank steak because it is a slightly tougher cut of meat that benefits hugely from the marinade. Also, it grills up quickly, and once it is grilled, when you slice it against the grain, the meat falls right apart for the perfect combination of texture and flavor.

Grilled Watermelon Salad


  • 3 half inch slices of watermelon
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled


1. Grill watermelon on each side until grill marks are made, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

2. In a blender, emulsify all the other ingredients.

3. Serve at room temperature pouring over your grilled watermelon.

4. Crumble cotija cheese on top.

Written by Stephen Chavez

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