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Take your taste buds to Mexico with a traditional carne asada taco recipe of flavorful steak topped with a fresh onion relish, & drizzled with spicy homemade salsa. Bet you can’t eat just one!
When you think tacos, the first filling that comes to mind may be ground beef or ground turkey. There is so much more that you can put in a taco, though! We love to fill ours with carne asada, which is strips of marinated flank steak.
Marinating can feel like a pain to wait for, but if you start this the night before, it will be totally worth your time.
Trust me, this carne asada is super flavorful and tender. The biggest challenge will be keeping yourself from eating all the steak while you are cooking it!
Now, carne asada this good needs to be spiced up with something nicer than store-bought salsa.
This homemade salsa recipe starts by roasting chile peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Roasting them, instead of using them fresh, gives the salsa a subtle smokey flavor that will make your taste buds sing!
The salsa is quite spicy, but you can reduce the number of dried chile pods to cut back on the heat.
When it comes time to top your traditional carne asada tacos, you have a lot of options. We like to keep it simple with Cotija cheese and a fresh onion relish, but you can add any of your favorite traditional taco toppings.
For those who find the salsa too spicy, Mexican cheese, sour cream, or avocado can all help cut the heat. If you want some veggies, shredded cabbage and sliced radishes add a nice crunch.
Whatever you choose, make sure you plan enough for everyone to have seconds!


Carne Asada Traditional Taco Recipe
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Marinated strips of flank steak, a smokey homemade salsa, and your favorite toppings combine to create these delicious traditional tacos! Prep time does not include marinating overnight. Recipe from, used with permission. 
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 people

Carne Asada
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 limes juice of
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 pounds flank steak
For the Onion Relish
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juice of
For the Homemade Chile Salsa
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 4 dried red chile pods
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Assorted Other Toppings
  • 1 (32 oz) package corn tortillas
  • 2 cups grated Cojita cheese (optional)
  • 2 limes, wedged (optional)
Marinating the Steak
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika then whisk until well blended. 
  2. Place flank steak in a large glass baking dish, and pour marinade over the meat. Turn meat over to coat both sides. Cover dish, and marinate overnight, or for at least 6 hours for the best flavor.
Onion Relish
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the relish, then cover and refrigerate. 
  2. Homemade Chile Salsa
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. 
  4. Toast chile pods for a few minutes, then soak in a bowl of water for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet, and roast for twenty minutes until toasted. 
  6. Place roasted vegetables and chile pods into a blender or food processor, add salt and pepper, and puree until smooth.
Cooking the Carne Asada
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the marinated steak into strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated. 
Assembling the tacos
  1. Warm the tortillas in a skillet or microwave to make them pliable. 
  2. Arrange several tortillas on a plate and lay beef over them. Top with onion relish and salsa, as well as whatever other toppings you might like, such as Cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.
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