These Carne Asada Street Tacos are so flavorful and EASY to make! They have become our go-to when we want great Mexican flavors.
Mexican cuisine is, by far, my husband's favorite type of food. He orders Carne Asada tacos a lot. He loves them. He also says these Carne Asada Street Tacos are the BEST he's ever had! I have to agree -- and wait until you see how easy they are!
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If you would prefer to watch me make this recipe, you can do that right here: Carne Asada Street Tacos
What are Street Tacos?
I like to think of them like a Mexican sandwich, but instead of bread you use soft corn tortillas. The purpose of a street taco is to be able to wrap up your meal in a no-fuss kind of way and be able to eat it easily and rather quickly.
The two most common types of street tacos found in the United States are the fish taco and the pastor taco.
A fish taco has breaded or non breaded fish like cod, haddock, or tilapia. I've even seen them with salmon. The toppings are kept very simple: cilantro and some diced onions. You might see some shredded slaw and a sauce of some kind. I've also seen a fruit salsa added as a topping, but that is about it. Very simple.
The pastor taco is made from seasoned cubes of pork often slow cooked for hours and hours. These are also wrapped in a soft corn tortilla with toppings like cilantro and diced onions.
While I love fish and pastor tacos, my real love is the steak or carne asada taco. I prefer sliced steak over ground beef in soft flour tacos too, so does my husband. Although, there really is something delicious about a crispy corn taco shell with a flavorful ground beef mixture and topped with all the favorites: lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and of course sour cream!
What are your favorite taco toppings? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Why do you use Two Corn Tortillas for Street Tacos?
Many times you will see two corn tortillas being used to hold the fillings. This is done so you can eat the tacos on the go without worrying about the first tortilla breaking from the juice of the filling. The second tortilla is there for insurance purposes. Many street vendors will ask if you want one or two tortillas. If you are sitting down, one is fine, but if you are walking and eating, get two!
Tacos were also considered poor man's food and by adding a second tortilla you were adding much needed fuel in the form of carbohydrates.
It is totally up to you if you use one or two. I personally prefer just one corn tortilla.
Can I make Carne Asada Street Tacos Low Carb?
Absolutely! Simply pile the carne asada onto a fresh salad and skip the tortilla! A simple salad of crisp lettuce, radishes, cilantro, and a few tomatoes is wonderful with the carne asada meat. Use the juice with a spritz of lime for the dressing and you are good to go!
Don't forget the cheese! My favorite is Cotija cheese. It is very flavorful and crumbles nicely.
What Cuts of Beef Can I use to Make Carne Asada?
Typically, Carne Asada is made from skirt steak or flank steak. These are relatively lean cuts of meat and, when grilling, they should be grilled to medium rare for the best consistency.
I have also made this recipe using what the grocery stores label as London Broil. This is usually a top round. The term London Broil actually refers to a method of preparation. You marinate the beef and then grill it or broil it.
All of these meat choices are fine, I prefer the flank steak over all of them. No matter which cut you choose, the most important thing is cutting it against the grain. You will be able to see the direction of the lines in the meat and be sure to make your slices across them, not with them. This will produce a more tender steak. If you want to watch me cut the steak, please see the video below the recipe.
Can I use this Recipe and Grill the Steak?
Of course! I did test this recipe using the Ninja Foodi on broil to "grill" the steak the first time and it was good, but in my opinion the second test run using the PC function of the Ninja Foodi produced a more flavorful and more tender steak.
I chose to go with the PC mode in this recipe, but if you want to broil it with the Ninja Foodi here is how to do it:
When making the recipe for a grill or broiling in the Ninja Foodi, don't cut the meat into strips. Place the entire steak into the spices and marinade and let sit for at least an hour.
Preheat the Ninja Foodi, with the rack in the inner pot, on broil for 10 minutes. Lay the entire steak on the rack in the high position. If the steak is too thick, drop the rack to the low position and broil for about 3-5 minutes on each side. You want the steak to be a medium rare.
Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes and then thinly slice across the grain.
To use an outdoor grill, get the grill very hot. Place the whole steak on the grate and cook for 3-5 minutes each side. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes and thinly slice against the grain.
How to Make Carne Asada Street Tacos
Measure out your spices. This recipe calls for 2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 tsp chipotle powder. Combine the spices in a medium-size sealable baggy.
Slice your meat against the grain in about 1/4" thick strips. For more information on slicing against the grain, you can watch my video below or check out this article: How to slice meat against the grain
A sharp knife is one of the most important kitchen tools you can have. I get asked a lot which knives I use and currently I am using my Chef's Knife from Pampered Chef the most.
Add the sliced steak to the baggy with the spices and shake to coat the meat.
Add in the juice of 1 lime which will be about 1/4 cup.
To get the most juice from your fruit, I recommend using a citrus press. The one I have is from Pampered Chef and it works great!
Mince about 4-5 cloves of garlic and add to the bag. You will need about 1/2 Tablespoon. If you have a garlic press, this task is super easy. If you don't, then peel and finely chop each garlic clove.
Throw in one dried ancho chili pepper. While this ingredient is optional, it adds a ton of flavor. I found these dried peppers at my local Aldi, but you can also order them from Amazon and here is the link: Ancho Chili Pepper
Cut of the stems of 1 bunch of cilantro. Cut the stems into small pieces (about 1 cup) and add to the marinade. The stems have just as much flavor as the leaves. Allow the steak to marinade for 30 minutes at room temp or 4 hours in the fridge. You can even leave it in fridge overnight.
Put the pressure lid on and make sure the valve is to the seal position. Set the Ninja Foodi to high pressure for 10 minutes. When the cook time is up, allow to natural release for 10 minutes and then immediately release the remaining pressure.
While the steak is cooking, get your toppings ready. You can top your carne asada street tacos with any toppings you like, but for traditional street tacos, keep them very simple.
Dice 1/2 white or sweet onion into 1/4" dice. Thinly slice a few radishes. Crumble some Cotija cheese or Queso Fresco cheese.
To heat the corn tortillas, spritz with a little vegetable oil or oil of your choice. I recently purchased these EVO sprayers from Amazon and I am very pleased with the way they work.
Place the rack in the high position over the carne asada mixture. Gently fold the corn tortilla over 2 rungs of the rack. You can fit 4 corn tortillas at a time on the rack. Set the Ninja Foodi to the broil function and broil for 3 minutes. Repeat for remaining corn tortillas.
Assemble the carne asada street tacos by adding some of the meat mixture, but don't get a lot of the juice or your tacos will fall apart. Top with desired toppings.
Serve and Enjoy!
Carne Asada Street Tacos
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
- 1 cup beef stock
- 16 corn tortillas
- 4 ounces cotija cheese
- cilantro for garnish
- 1/2 cup radishes sliced.
- 1 cup onion diced
- Mix up the spices and add to a medium size sealable bag.
- Slice the skirt steak against the grain into thin strips and place into baggy with the dry spices. Shake to coat meat and then add the remaining marinade ingredients. Leave at room temp for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Dump the steak and the marinade into the inner pot. Add 1 cup of beef stock. Set the pressure on high for 10 minutes. Allow the Ninja Foodi to release it's pressure for 10 minutes then immediately release the remaining pressure.
- Put the rack in the high position and lay the corn tortillas over 2 rungs in the rack. Spritzing with oil will help them be more pliable. Turn the broil on for 3 minutes or until they become warm and slightly crispy.
- Double the corn tortillas and stuff with carne asada meat and top with crumbled cheese, cilantro, onion, and sliced radishes. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.