Mexican Carne Asada Marinade

Mexican Carne Asada Marinade

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Just in time for Cinco De Mayo, I’m releasing my secret Mexican Carne Asada Marinade Recipe! Don’t take this the wrong way, but you haven’t had good Carne Asada until you’ve had Carne Asada in San Diego.

The fact that we are neighbors with Mexico means we are spoiled with amazing Mexican food! This includes delicious options like Carne Asada burritos, tacos, and a San Diego original, the California Burrito! This Mexican Carne Asada Marinade is the first step in making all the delicious food mentioned above.

grilled Asada on a tray with fork

What Cut of Meat is Used for Carne Asada?

The two cuts of meat that are most often used to make Carne Asada are flank steak and skirt steak. Of the two, I prefer skirt steak. The two cuts have a lot in common.

First, they are located next to each other on a cow’s body. Additionally, both cuts are lean and fibrous. As a result, both flank steak and skirt steak do well being marinated in this Mexican Carne Asada marinade.

Carne Asada is best when cooked using high heat, for a short amount of time, or medium rare. Finally, the cooked meat should be cut across the grain. Following these steps will ensure the Carne Asada is tender, delicious, and full of flavor!

raw flank steak

What Goes with Carne Asada?

Carne Asada can be served in so many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities. When served in restaurants, Carne Asada is often served with Mexican Rice and refried beans.

Additionally, if you’re doing Keto, or are on a low carb diet, you can slice the Carne Asada meat and serve it over a salad. Otherwise, use it to make a California Burrito. Just dice the meat and wrap it in a large tortilla with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and salsa.

Another delicious option would be to serve it diced, over nachos. Or, my favorite option, use it to make a Carne Asada Quesadillas!

carne asada steak
sliced Mexican Carne Asada
Be sure to cut the meat against the grain

My Mexican Carne Asada Marinade

This is my all-time favorite marinade. I’ve been using this recipe for years, with an occasional tweak. Until now, this recipe was only given out to a few select “special people.” However, as I’ve gotten older (and wiser), I’m learning that there’s no point in holding on to things. This includes my “secret recipes.”

mexican carne asada marinade in a bowl

Mexican Carne Asada Marinade Hints

  • The best meat for making Carne Asada, in my opinion, is skirt steak.
  • Use approximately 3/4 teaspoon of salt, for each pound of meat.
  • Marinate the steak for a minimum of 4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
  • Instead of discarding the leftover marinade, use it to marinate some boneless chicken to make Pollo Asada (Chicken Asada) the following day.
mexican carne asada marinade in a plastic bag
skirt steak carne asada being grilled

Do you Pinterest? Please Pin and share!

carne Asada on a tray pin

If you enjoy this Mexican Carne Asada Marinade, please give it a 5-star rating! You may also want to check out my other popular Mexican food posts: Mexican Pickled Carrots, Mexican Lasagna, and Mexican Bean Dip.

4.5 from 4 votes
grilled carne asada on a tray
Mexican Carne Asada Marinade
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Marinade Time
4 hrs
Total Time
35 mins

My secret Carne Asada Marinade

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 276 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
  • 3 lbs. Skirt steak
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon or lime (juiced)
  • 2 T. orange juice
  • 2 T. vinegar
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 Serrano pepper sliced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients into a bowl

  2. Add meat and marinade to a large Ziploc bag and seal. 

  3. Allow the meat to marinate for 4 or more hours, or overnight.

  4. Barbecue meat using high heat, until charred on the surface, and cooked to medium rare or medium. Don’t overcook. Cut against the grain and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Carne Asada Marinade
Amount Per Serving
Calories 276 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 16g32%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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