I wanted to bring you this carne asada street taco recipe in plenty of time for Labor Day because it will be the HIT of the day/season/summer/year!  It is also fabulous for crowds because you can prep everything ahead of time and line up a taco bar so everyone can make their own street tacos which saves you time assembling and serving – winning.

So, let’s talk street tacos.  My husband, Patrick, and I consider ourselves somewhat of street taco connoisseurs – seeing as we consume more Mexican food than any other cuisine.  Not only do we live in Carlsbad (north San Diego), but we grew up in San Diego where authentic Mexican food dots every corner and grew up making day trips to Tijuana (back in the day when it was safe). 



1 1/2 - 2 pounds flank steak pounded to an even thin thickness

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Spice Mix

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, chili powder

1 tsp EACH salt, onion powder, ground coriander

1/2 tsp EACH pepper, cayenne pepper

For Serving (your favs below)

10-12 quality corn tortillas (like La Tortilla Factory)

1 recipe pico de gallo recommended

Guacamole recipe to follow

Cotija cheese

sour cream

Homemade Salsa

hot sauce

Recipe Grilled Pineapple Salsa optional

Recipe Mexican Street Fries optional


4 medium ripe avocados peeled and pitted

1 Roma tomato seeded, chopped

1 jalapeno seeded, deveined, diced more or less to taste

1/4 cup finely diced red onion rinsed, drained, patted dry

2 garlic cloves minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

Pepper to taste

a hand holding a carne asada street taco ready to eat


Add Spice Mix seasonings to a small bag or sealable container; whisk and set aside.

Add all Marinade Ingredients (except steak) to a large freezer bag and whisk to combine. Add 3 tablespoons Spice Mix to Marinade and whisk to combine. Add steak, squeeze out excess air, seal and turn to evenly coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 4-12 hours (the longer the better).

While steak is marinating, prepare pico de gallo and other toppings aside from guacamole and refrigerate.

When ready to grill, mix remaining Spice Mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil to create a wet Spice Rub.

Discard marinade and pat steaks dry with paper towel. Rub steak evenly all over with Spice Rub and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. I use this time to make guacamole (recipe to follow).

Grease and preheat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to high heat. Add steak and turn down to medium-high. Grill steak for 5-6 minutes per side, turning once, for medium (recommended 145 degrees F). For medium- well, continue cooking steak over indirect flame for an additional 5-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness. *If you like your steaks rare then use HIGH heat so you can get the charred outside in less time.

Remove steak and let rest 10 minutes before chopping into small pieces.

Warm tortillas in the microwave, in a skillet or char on the grill or open gas stovetop flame until warm but still pliable (detailed instructions in notes).

Assemble Street Tacos by layering warmed corn tortillas with carne asada steak, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and cotija. Serve with optional lime wedges and hot sauce.


Mash avocados in a medium bowl to desired consistency. Fold in all remaining ingredients. Taste and add additional lime juice or salt to taste.

Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap (press the plastic so it is touching the top of the guacamole to prevent browning) and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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