This juicy marinated steak is key to street-style tacos, burritos, nachos, and more.

By Nadia Hassani
Updated January 28, 2021
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If you're looking to up your taco Tuesday game, look no further than carne asada. It's a common filling in street-style tacos — but you don't have to go to the taco truck to get it. Here you'll learn everything you need to know about carne asada, including how to marinate it for big flavor.

What Is Carne Asada?

Carne asada, which in English means "grilled meat," is beef. For this Mexican dish, one-inch-thick steaks are marinated in lime juice and seasonings, grilled, and then cut into thin strips.

Carne asada is either served as a main course typically with rice and beans, or used as a filling for tacos or burritos.

What Cut of Meat Is Carne Asada?

Many different beef cuts can be used: tenderloin, strip streak (New York steak), skirt steak, flank steak, rib steak, or sirloin flap steak.

What Is Carne Asada Seasoning?

It's a dry rub that usually contains salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, onion and garlic powder, chili powder, and (smoked) paprika. Carne asada seasoning is added to the meat together with lime juice and other flavorings and left to marinate for several hours to overnight. You find premixed carne asada seasoning in the aisle with spices and condiments, or you can make your own.

What's the Difference Between Carne Asada and Carne Guisada?

Both are made with beef, but the resemblance ends there. They differ in the type of meat, the cooking method, and preparation time. Carne guisada is a beef stew made from beef chuck or round that is slowly cooked at low heat until tender. Like all stews, it is a great dish to make in the slow cooker.

What Are Carne Asada Fries?

It's a southern Californian invention that consists of carne asada with French fries, topped with melted cheesed and served with guacamole and sour cream.

How to Make Carne Asada

Fresh citrus juices are whisked together with olive oil, chipotle peppers, spices, and fresh chopped cilantro. "I've tried many marinade recipes for carne asada, and this is our family favorite!" says recipe creator Lisa Arlotti. See how it's done!

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