Citrus Carne Asada Marinade


I have used this recipe for a number of years, and most often marinate enough steak for a few meals. After the marinade time, the steak can be frozen in meal-sized portions for quick meals later. The flavor of this carne asada is much better, and the meat much more tender, than any I have had in Mexican restaurants. If cut in strips, this meat also works very well for fajitas. Serve with tortillas, Mexican rice, and beans.

close up view of Citrus Carne Asada tocos with fresh herbs, onions, and limes on a colorful plate
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 day
Total Time:
1 day 25 mins
2 pounds of steak


  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 ½ teaspoons crushed coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®)

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon white sugar

  • 2 pounds flank steak

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed


  1. Combine onion, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, cilantro, chili powder, garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander, hot sauce, chipotle pepper, black pepper, and sugar in a 1-gallon plastic zip-top bag. Add steak and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning and massaging meat frequently, for up to 24 hours.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add steak and marinade. Cook steak until medium-rare to medium, 4 to 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 to 140 degrees F (54 to 60 degrees C).

Cook's Notes:

Substitute flank steak for skirt steak if you like.

If using light soy sauce, measure out 1/2 cup.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

158 Calories
8g Fat
7g Carbs
15g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 158
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 521mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 325mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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