Flank steak is marinated in a citrus, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce combination and grilled to perfection! This easy Carne Asada recipe is tender, juicy, and full of Mexican flavor.
Flank steak is my favorite cut of beef. I don’t have it to often, but whenever I do it never disappoints.
Normally when I make it I use a marinade recipe that my mom has, someday I’ll get that recipe on here for you. However, I wanted to try something new and the first thing that came to mind was carne asada.
I absolutely love Mexican food, so it seemed only fitting that I try my hand at making carne asada. I won’t go as far to say this is an authentic version, but it does use most of the same ingredients, plus a couple of my own additions.
Carne asada can be enjoyed on it’s own or you can use it in one of the serving suggestions that I’ve listed below. However you eat it, I promise it doesn’t disappoint!
What Is Carne Asada?
Carne asada is marinated, grilled, and sliced steak. Flank steak or skirt steak are the most commonly used cuts of beef. It can be served on it’s own or used as an ingredient in other dishes.
Ingredients For Carne Asada
Flank Steak – A lean cut of beef that is relatively long and flat. Because it is so lean, it’s best to marinate it.
Orange and Lime – Fresh orange and lime juice add acidity and a fresh citrus flavor to the marinade.
Jalapeño – Gives the marinade a little bit of spice. If you want it spicier leave in the rib and seeds.
Cilantro – A fresh, flavorful herb commonly used in Mexican and Southwest cooking.
Garlic – For the best results, grate the garlic into the marinade. This ensures that it “melts” in and you don’t end up with any little burnt bitter pieces when you go to grill the meat.
Soy Sauce – Add saltiness and umami to the marinade. Use low sodium to control the saltiness and if you need this recipe to be gluten-free, use tamari.
Ground Cumin and Ancho Chile Powder – Both dried spices add an earthy flavor. The ancho chile powder is optional, but gives the marinade a slightly sweet and earthy chile flavor.
Olive Oil – Oil is necessary for a marinade. It helps tenderize the meat and keeps the sharp acidic components of the marinade from dominating the flavor. Avocado oil can be used as a substitution for olive oil if you prefer.
Salt – Even though there is salt in the soy sauce, adding kosher or sea salt really boosts the flavor. I suggest sprinkling some onto both sides of the flank steak after it has marinated to create a nice crust on the outside while it grills.
How To Make Carne Asada
Combine the citrus juice, soy sauce, chopped cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, chile powder and olive oil in a bowl and whisk together. Add the flank steak to a resealable freezer bag along with the marinade.
Seal the bag pressing the air out as you do. Massage the marinade into the steak and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but overnight is better.
Preheat your grill to high heat, or about 450° F. Remove the flank steak from the marinade letting the excess marinade drip off. Season the steak on both sides with kosher or sea salt and then place it on the hot grill grates.
Grill for 5-6 minutes and then flip the steak over and grill another 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. This will yield a medium-rare cooked steak. It’s best not to cook flank steak any more than this or it will be tough and chewy.
Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it. This will ensure that the juices stay in the steak. Be sure to slice against the grain and to cut thin slices.
How To Grill Flank Steak
Flank steak is a lean and somewhat tougher cut of beef. Because of these factors it does best if it’s marinated, as it was in this carne asada recipe. Once the steak has marinated, it’s time to get it on the grill.
- Preheat your grill to high heat. I like mine to be at 450° F. Make sure the grates are clean and oiled before placing the steak on them.
- Remove the flank steak from the marinade shaking off any excess marinade. At this point you can sprinkle on additional salt. The salt will help to form a crust on the outside of the steak.
- Place the flank steak over direct heat and grill for 3-6 minutes and then flip it over and grill another 3-6 minutes or until the internal temperature is 135° F. (medium-rare) Flank steak should not be cooked medium-well or well done or it will be tough and chewy.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing it. Remember to slice it against the grain.
Ways To Serve It
- Use it to make carne asada tacos.
- Top it with pico de gallo and serve it was warm flour or corn tortillas.
- Use it as a filling for burritos or enchiladas.
- Make a bowl recipe with it using cilantro lime rice, guacamole, grilled peppers and onions, or grilled corn.
- Make a steak salad with it.
More Mexican Recipes
Did you make this Carne Asada? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt for sprinkling on the outside of the steak before grilling
- 2 pounds flank steak
- Whisk together all of the ingredients together in a bowl until combined. Pour the marinade into a resealable freezer bag and add in the flank steak. Seal the bag pressing out the air as you do. Let the steak marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
- Preheat your grill to high heat, or about 450° F. Remove the flank steak from the marinade letting the excess marinade drip off. Season the steak on both sides with kosher or sea salt and then place it on clean, oiled, hot grill grates.
- Grill for 5-6 minutes and then flip the steak over and grill another 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F. (medium-rare).
- Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before thinly slicing it. Be sure to slice against the grain.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 351mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.