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15 Carne Asada Recipes That Will Have You Drooling Before The End Of This Post

Maica

There are few hard and fast rules on how to make delicious carne asada. Over its long history as carnivorous Latinos’ favorite meaty treat, carne asada has been through many transformations. If you’re making carne asada for the first time there are three key things you must know. 

Sure your papa or tío probably shared their wisdom with you but here is our some of ours.

First, the cut of beef (skirt or flank) must be marinated and seasoned by a pro. Second, the meat must be cooked on a grill or skillet that’s so hot it screams. And third, the meat must be properly rested and thinly sliced before serving.

With the ground rules out the way, here are 15 carne asada recipes guaranteed to get you drooling before you know it.

1) The Simple Carne Asada

Credit: Mexican Food Journal

There are many ways to make a carne asada marinade but many swear by simplicity. At it’s most basic, a simple carne asada marinade is made from oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lime juice. Nothing more. Let the meat chill in the marinade for at least 4 hours and return to room temperature before you slap it on the grill.

2) The Classic Carne Asada 

Credit: Isabeleats.com

There’s simple and then there’s classic. This carne asada recipe from Isabel Eats follows the recipe the author remembers from her childhood. To the oil, lime, garlic, and seasoning in the simple marinade above, Isabel adds a good handful of chopped cilantro, a chopped jalapeno, white wine vinegar, chilli powder, dried oregano, and cumin.

3) Carne Asada with a Citrus Punch

Credit: RainbowJewels at All Recipes

This crowd-sourced recipe for carne asada takes the basic carne asada marinade above and adds a whole host of other flavors, including a major glug of citrus juice. Lime juice, lemon juice, and orange juice go into this marinade, along with chopped chipotle pepper, coriander seeds and cumin. This recipe recommends flank steak or skirt steak and suggests you regularly massage the meat while it’s marinating!

4) Port Wine and Ginger Carne Asada

Credit: All Recipes

Ever thought about adding a ¼ cup of honey, some grated ginger and a cup of port wine to your carne asada marinade? Well now’s the time to give it a try! This recipe for flank steak with a port wine marinade is essentially port wine carne asada. Searing the meat on a smoking hot outside grill cooks the wine off nicely, leaving a sticky, sweet coating behind.

5) Spicy Carne Asada with Fish Sauce

Credit: A Spicy Perspective

According to the author, this Mexico-inspired carne asada from A Spicy Perspective is a fast, healthy low-carb meal. This recipe is also packed with flavor and easy to prepare. For this marinade, you need to add ancho chilli powder and habanero chiles to the usual ingredients like garlic, cilantro, and lime. These two types of chilli give the recipe a kick. But it’s the addition of fish sauce that adds a vivid umami flavor to the meat that will have your guests coming back to the grill for second and third helpings.

6) Carne Asada Tacos

Credit: Food Network

And now, a true Mexican rule to live by. If in doubt, put it in a taco. The Food Network recommends marinating your steak in a simple Mojo (marinade) that includes two tablespoons of white vinegar and a whole jalapeno for 8 hours. Any more and the meat begins to break down and loses its texture. Once cooked, pile the meat on top of warmed tortillas, sprinkle with lettuce, onion, and cheese and finish with Pico de Gallo salsa.

7) Roy Choi’s Carne Asada

Credit: NY Times

Now we’re going to get a little fancy with this take on carne asada from LA chef and Kogi BBQ founder Roy Choi. A number of ingredients set this recipe apart. Take the classic carne asada recipe, lose the cumin and oregano and add mirin, beer, chopped tomato, and onion. Roy recommends a coal-fired grill to get a good crisp on the outer edges of the meat.

8) Carne Asada with Soy Sauce

Credit: Damn Delicious

This popular recipe from Chungah at Damn Delicious keeps things simple but adds one key ingredient – soy sauce. Seasoning is a very important and every good carne asada cook has a salt grinder on hand. But soy sauce adds a richer flavor that cannot be achieved through salt alone. Chungah quite rightly uses flank steak and cooks the meat for only six minutes to keep the dish nice and rare.

9) Vegan Jackfruit Carne Asada

Credit: The Nut Free Vegan

For our vegan friends, this carne asada recipe replaces beef steak with jackfruit. Jackfruit is a tropical fruit native to South India that has a fibrous, meaty texture when cooked. Shredded jackfruit often pops up on vegan menus as an alternative to pulled pork but when doused in a spicy citrus marinade it can pass for a tasty vegan carne asada! This recipe recommends baking the jackfruit, rather than grilling it but throwing the marinated fruit on the grill should work just as well. 

10) Carne Asada Salad

Credit: Skinny Taste

Carne asada goes beautifully with fresh salad vegetables. This salad recipe from Skinny Taste shows you how to incorporate juicy strip steak into a fresh summer salad. The carne asada is treated to a simple marinade and grilled in the usual way. Once rested and sliced, the meat is thrown onto a bed of salad leaves, covered with homemade Pico de Gallo and doused with the juice of an entire lime.

11) Carne Asada Fries

Credit: Downshiftology

Everything in moderation. If you’re eating the salad, you can also eat the fries! To make carne asada fries, prepare a half portion of carne asada using the classic carne asada recipe above (number 2). Make a batch of fries; either from scratch using russet potatoes and a deep fryer or by short cut using oven fries. Sprinkle grated cheese and a teaspoon of paprika over the fries, pile on the carne asada and finish with a dollop of guacamole. Heaven.

12) Carne Asada Burrito Casserole

Credit: Claire Lower at Lifehacker

Trust Lifehacker to come up with a recipe you didn’t know you wanted. Essentially a layered casserole with carne asada and all the ingredients you’d need for a burrito cooked together in the oven, this carne asada burrito casserole is not elegant but it sure is tasty. 

13) Carne Asada con Rajas

Credit: James Ransom at Food52

Food52 enjoys its carne asada con rajas, which means carne asada with sliced peppers. The most refined recipe on this list, carne asada con rajas requires a fairly complex marinade that includes brown sugar, cumin, and ancho chilli powder. Once the steak has been marinated, cooked and rested, you can start on the rajas. Saute poblano pepper and onions in olive oil, add minced garlic then finish with fresh oregano and a dollop of heavy cream. 

14) Keto Carne Asada and Chimichurri

Credit; I Breathe I’m Hungry

If you’re following a keto, low carb, paleo or dairy-free diet, this recipe is the one for you. This keto carne asada marinadefeatures healthy ingredients like avocado oil, cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper and the side of Chimichurri sauce is much lighter than the usual sides of rice and tortillas. Net carbs per serving: 0g!

15) The Ultimate Carne Asada 

Credit:  J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats

And to finish, the ultimate carne asada recipe from Serious Eats. This recipe combines everything we’ve learned from the recipes above and incorporates it into the ultimate carne asada experience. Three types of fresh chilli (ancho, guajillo, chipotle), a whole load of citrus, soy sauce and fish sauce go into this marinade. The result is a slab of grilled meat that’s buttery, salty, sweet and absolutely delicious.

Everybody Thinks Carne Asada Fries Are From California, But Is That Fact Or Fiction?

Culture

Everybody Thinks Carne Asada Fries Are From California, But Is That Fact Or Fiction?

Eater / Instagram

Ok, so let’s be real. Everybody loves fries. They’re literally the greatest way you can eat potatoes and they happen to come in an endless rainbow of options.

But we all know the clear winner of the perfect vessel for eating fries are carne asada fries. Obviously.

But there’s lot you might know about the bomb dish so we’re here to give you a little master class while sharing pictures of amazing carne asada fries that will have you out the door or on your Uber Eats app in no time.

First off, many people think carne asada fries are specifically from Southern California.

That’s not exactly true. Sure there are several restaurants in San Diego that claim to have invented the magical dish but Mexicans have been putting papas with grilled meats for a looooong time.

But that’s not exactly true. Case in point the taco arrachera:

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

You can find this classic taco combination all over Mexico, especially at farmer’s markets called tianguis.

These humble tacos are proof that meats and papas belong together and they’ve been together long before San Diego started claiming asada fries as their own.

Now that we’ve cleared that up let’s get to the actual asada fries.

Credit: plantbasedfatkid / Instagram

Carne asada fries are a local specialty found on the menus of restaurants all across Southern California and now even in Arizona and other states wth large Latino communities. As I mentoned above, restaurants in San Diego claim to have created the dish so it’s especially popular there.

And since we’re keeping things real, carne asada fries (at least not Cali-style ones) aren’t exactly authentic Mexican food – so you won’t typically find them on menus at traditional Mexican restaurants.

The Cali-style asada fries that everyone loves is said to have originated at Lolita’s Taco Shop in San Diego.

Credit: LolitasTacoShop / Instagram

Lolita’s Mexican Food in San Diego claims to have originated the dish in the late 1990s, inspired by a suggestion from their tortilla distributor.

And now you can find them all over Southern California.

Credit: eater / Instagram

The dish is also served at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium. By 2015, fast food chain Del Taco began to sell the item. It’s safe to say they’re pretty much every where and we couldn’t be more thankful.

But for those people who are totally clueless, what exactly are carne asada fries?

Credit: plantbasedfatkid / Instagram

They’re some of the most tasty fries you’ll ever eat. Plain and simple.

First, they start off with a generous portion of amazing potatoes topped with perfectly grilled meats.

Credit: guapomole / Instagram

Typically, the fries are of the shoestring variety, but other cuts may be used, as well. The carne asada is usually finely chopped to avoid the need for a knife so you eat them as they’re supposed to be enjoyed – with greasy, dirty fingers.

In many places, especially in San Diego and LA, they’ll then get topped with a giant portion of beans and cheese.

Credit: justin0202 / Instagram

The cheese is commonly cotija, although many placesuse a less-costly shredded cheese mix which melts with the other ingredients and keeps longer.

They’re then finished off with some sour cream and guac, thus creating an explosion of flavor.

Credit: theburerlab / Instagram

Carne asada fries have a devout following on Twitter. Like some people just can’t help themselves.

Credit: @purpsnat / Twitter

I mean lay it all out there girl. Now’s not the time for vergüenza.

And for some, they rather have carne asada fries in their belly than intimate human contact.

Credit: wcarrillo_13 / Twitter

I’m pretty sure we can all relate. Like I know I’ve been there.

Like you know a food is amazing when people take to Twitter to share their carne asada fries fan art.

Credit: @strayserval / Twitter

This. is. everything.

And although the original carne asada fries are literally life, there’s nothing wrong with experimentation.

We all know about carne asada fries. However, for all of you sweet vegetarians, use Hot Cheetos to change things up. Instead of using meat, this snack add another layer to the very popular french fries dish. You really can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, cheese, sour cream and Hot Cheetos.

READ: 15 Carne Asada Recipes That Will Have You Drooling Before The End Of This Post

Meet The Gracious Family That The Creator Of Taco Bell Ripped Off

Culture

Meet The Gracious Family That The Creator Of Taco Bell Ripped Off

Ugly Delicious / Netflix

Any foodie with a Netflix subscription is at least aware of the Netflix original docu-series “Ugly Delicious.” Each episode takes a cultural look at staple foods like pizza, fried rice, and tacos. Hosted by David Chang, each episode is essentially a visual essay of a taken-for-granted cuisine. The team travels to the birthplace of the food and sees how it’s evolved in its different iterations around the world.

During the taco episode, the all-male team travels to San Bernadino, California to Holland to Mexico to understand what makes a good taco. They even go to Taco Bell and the restaurant that “inspired” the franchise.

Along for the ride is taco expert and Mexican-American foodie Gustavo Arellano.

Netflix

We first see the team driving around Los Angeles past rows of food trucks. When asked what are the tell-tale signs that set apart one taco truck from another, Arellano gives these non-Spanish speakers these pro tips:

  1. Find a menu that includes words you’ve never seen before. That means the food will be regional and not mass-produced.
  2. Go where the “salsa game is strong.” Especially if they’re just giving away roasted serrano peppers.
  3. Look for the homemade tortillas. If you see a bag of mass-produced tortillas in sight, walk away.

Chang is a New Yorker. He didn’t get tacos until he rolled through Los Angeles.

Netflix

“This is definitely much better than the ‘Taco Night in America’ type of taco,” he proclaims after a single taco de camarones. That’s because Mexicanos run LA taquerías, Mr. Chang.

Eventually, Arellano takes us to ground zero of the Taco Bell franchise.

Netflix

After a quick trip to Taco Bell, Arellano, who authored “Taco USA,” takes viewers to the eatery that inspired a now global fast food franchise meant to represent Mexican cuisine.

Mitla Cafe’s home is San Bernardino, a community born out of being a road-side stop off Route 66.

The restaurant has been around since 1937.

Netflix

At this point, the country is just edging out of the Great Depression. San Bernardino was heavily segregated. Mexicans were only allowed to live on the west side of the city, where Mitla first opened its doors.

The real story of Taco Bell begins with Lucia Rodriguez.

Netflix

She had emigrated from Tepatitlán, México to California and brought her recipes with her. According to her grandson and now the owner of Mitla, Michael Montaño, “These are her recipes. Those are the things that were available to her: ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce. She made it work.”

True to its original menu, Mitla has been a home base for immigrant assimilation.

Netflix

“When my grandmother opened the restaurant, she wanted to have American style food on the menu,” Montaño tells “Ugly Delicious.” “The first item on the menu is a T-bone steak.”

Mitla became a home base for the Mexican community to gather and strengthen. The story goes that the local activists that would take up booths at Mitla went on to form the Mexican Chamber of Commerce.

Taco Bell founder, Glen Bell, saw an opportunity and decided to steal the recipe.

Netflix

Bell would eat at Mitla every day after work, trying to deconstruct their taco. According to Gustavo Arellano’s book Taco USA, Bell befriended the staff and family at Mitla Cafe, eventually making his way into the kitchen to learn the family secrets.

Glen Bell was making hamburgers across the street, but the original McDonalds was creating competition.

Netflix

This guy was just looking for a way to make money. He knew how to make a hamburger, but McDonald’s was creating too much competition.

Bell opened up the first Taco Bell in Downey in 1962.

Netflix

With the start of a fast food franchise that would normalize and make Mexican food mainstream, Taco Bell was born. Now, the Montaño family recipes are met with criticism from Latinos who don’t know the story–that they serve fake Mexican food.

The original flavors, story, and heritage still reside in San Bernadino with the Montaño family.

Netflix

We are so glad Arellano asked Montaño, “How do you feel that your family’s recipe—your heritage—was taken by Glen Bell and turned into a multi-billion dollar empire?”

Montaño is ultimately proud that his family recipes have forever given America a little more flavor.

Netflix

“We don’t talk about it in the terms of what could have been or what he did to us or anything like that,” he tells Arellano. “It’s more of like look at our connection to the history of food in this country. When you hear stories of salsa being the No. 1 condiment, or that tortillas are right there next to the wonder bread … that’s what the country’s about.”

“That’s what the immigrant story is about—is assimilating but not only assimilating to the culture, but having that predominant culture assimilate some of your beliefs, some of what you do well and make it part of the general population.”

READ: Taco Bell Is Opening A Resort In Palm Springs And People Have Some Serious And Valid Questions

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