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Spicy Carne Asada Recipe

Experience the sizzling flavors of Mexico with this spicy carne asada recipe. The dish is a beautiful marriage of tangy, spicy, and savory flavors, making it a perfect centerpiece for any gathering. The key is in marinating the steak properly, ensuring that every bite is packed with a punch of flavor.

Spicy Carne Asada Recipe
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The key standout ingredient in this recipe is the flat iron steak, a tender and flavorful cut from the shoulder. Not all supermarkets carry it; you might need to ask your butcher or order it specially. Ancho chili powder is another ingredient that may not be in your pantry. It's made from dried poblano peppers and adds a mild, smoky heat to the dish. Always remember to buy fresh limes for the best zest.

Spicy Carne Asada Recipe Ingredients

Soy sauce: This adds a savory, umami flavor to the marinade.

Lime juice: Its acid tenderizes the steak and adds a tangy flavor contrast.

Vegetable oil: This helps to evenly distribute the flavors of the marinade.

Sugar: A little sweetness balances the savory and spicy flavors.

Ground cumin: This adds a warm, earthy flavor.

Ancho chili powder: This chili powder provides a smoky heat.

Garlic: Essential for any marinade, garlic adds a strong, pungent flavor.

Flat iron steak: This is a tender cut, perfect for grilling.

One reader, Dita Amaya says:

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This spicy carne asada recipe is a game-changer! The marinade infuses the steak with a burst of flavors, and the grilling process creates a mouthwatering char. The meat is tender and juicy, and the spices add a delightful kick. It's a must-try for anyone who loves bold and delicious dishes!

Dita Amaya

Techniques Required for Making Spicy Carne Asada

How to marinate the steak: Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar, cumin, chili powder, and garlic in a dish. Place the steak in the marinade, turning to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours, turning the steak at least once.

How to grill the steak: Lightly oil the grill grates and preheat the grill to high. Grill the steak, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.

How to rest the meat: After grilling, let the meat rest on a cutting board, tented with aluminum foil, for about 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain and serving.

How To Make Spicy Carne Asada

Serve up the best tacos by loading them up with this tender and juicy carne asada, packed with tangy and spicy flavors from the lime and ancho chili!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 4 minutes
Total: 29 minutes



  • ¼cupsoy sauce
  • 3tbsplime juice,(from 2 limes)
  • 3tbspvegetable oil
  • 1tbspsugar
  • 1tspground cumin
  • tspancho chili powder
  • 3large garlic cloves,finely minced
  • 2lbsflat iron steak


  1. In a dish large enough to hold the steak, whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar, cumin, chili powder, and garlic.

  2. Using a fork, poke holes about an inch apart all over the steak on one side only. Place the steak in the marinade and turn to coat evenly.

  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours, turning the steak at least once.

  4. Lightly oil the grill grates and preheat the grill to high. Grill the steak, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.

  5. Let the meat rest on a cutting board, tented with aluminum foil, for about 5 minutes.

  6. Slice thinly against the grain, serve, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 314.26kcal
  • Fat: 19.26g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.40g
  • Trans Fat: 0.55g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.08g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.37g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.57g
  • Fiber: 0.44g
  • Sugar: 2.33g
  • Protein: 31.55g
  • Cholesterol: 102.81mg
  • Sodium: 726.64mg
  • Calcium: 32.76mg
  • Potassium: 592.74mg
  • Iron: 4.33mg
  • Vitamin A: 14.92µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.12mg

Essential Technique for Perfect Carne Asada

When marinating your flat iron steak, ensure that the meat is fully submerged in the marinade for optimal flavor infusion. If the marinade doesn't fully cover the steak, you can periodically turn the steak to ensure all parts are equally exposed. Also, poking holes in the steak before marinating allows the marinade to penetrate deeper into the meat, enhancing the flavor throughout. Remember, the longer you marinate, the more flavorful your carne asada will be. However, don't exceed 24 hours as the acids in the marinade can start to break down the meat fibers and make the steak mushy.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Carne Asada

Prep ahead: Marinate the steak the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Thinly slice: For quicker cooking, thinly slice the steak against the grain before grilling.

High heat: Preheat the grill to high to ensure a quick and efficient cooking process.

Double up: Consider grilling extra steak to use for leftovers, saving time on future meals.

Grill indoors: If grilling outside is not an option, use a grill pan on the stovetop for a similar charred flavor.

Substitute Ingredients For Spicy Carne Asada Recipe

  • soy sauce – Substitute with coconut aminos: Coconut aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce as they are gluten-free and have a similar salty, umami flavor.

  • lime juice – Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for lime juice to provide a similar level of acidity and citrus flavor.

  • vegetable oil – Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for vegetable oil in high-heat cooking.

  • sugar – Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener in place of sugar, adding a touch of sweetness with a hint of floral flavor.

  • ground cumin – Substitute with ground coriander: Ground coriander can be used as a substitute for cumin, providing a similar warm and earthy flavor profile.

  • ancho chili powder – Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can add a smoky flavor similar to ancho chili powder, enhancing the depth of the dish.

  • garlic – Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for garlic, providing a milder, slightly sweet flavor to the dish.

  • flat iron steak – Substitute with skirt steak: Skirt steak is a suitable substitute for flat iron steak, offering a similar texture and beefy flavor when grilled or seared.

Best Way to Serve Carne Asada

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the thinly sliced carne asada in a circular pattern on a large, white, oval-shaped plate. This will create a visually appealing presentation and allow the vibrant colors of the dish to stand out.

  2. Incorporate vibrant garnishes: Sprinkle finely chopped cilantro and red chili flakes over the sliced carne asada to add a pop of color and enhance the overall visual appeal of the dish.

  3. Utilize contrasting textures: Place a small dollop of creamy avocado puree on one side of the plate and drizzle a spicy salsa verde on the other side. This will create a balance of smooth and chunky textures, adding complexity to the dish.

  4. Highlight the charred edges: Position the charred end pieces of the carne asada strategically on the plate to showcase the beautiful grill marks and add a touch of rustic elegance to the presentation.

  5. Emphasize precision in slicing: Ensure that the carne asada is sliced thinly and uniformly to demonstrate culinary expertise and attention to detail. The precision in slicing will reflect the chef's skill and dedication to the craft.

  6. Create a focal point: Place a small bundle of microgreens or edible flowers in the center of the dish to serve as a focal point, drawing the eye to the carefully arranged components of the dish.

  7. Use minimalist plating: Embrace a minimalist approach by allowing the natural beauty of the dish to shine through. Avoid overcrowding the plate and focus on simplicity and elegance in the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Carne Asada

  • Grill: A grill is essential for cooking the carne asada. You can use a gas or charcoal grill for this recipe. The grill will impart a delicious smoky flavor to the meat.

  • Cutting board: A sturdy cutting board is necessary for slicing the carne asada after grilling. Choose a board that is large enough to comfortably hold the steak and has a groove to catch any juices.

  • Whisk: A whisk is needed to thoroughly mix the marinade ingredients together. It ensures that the soy sauce, lime juice, oil, and spices are well combined.

  • Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil is used to tent the cooked steak, allowing it to rest and retain its juices before slicing. It also helps to keep the steak warm.

  • Fork: A fork is used to pierce the steak before marinating. This allows the flavors of the marinade to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful carne asada.

  • Grill tongs: Grill tongs are essential for flipping the steak while grilling. They provide a good grip and control when handling the hot meat on the grill.

Storing and Freezing Spicy Carne Asada

  • Once the carne asada has cooled to room temperature, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep the meat fresh.

  • Place the wrapped carne asada in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing to minimize the risk of freezer burn.

  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents, so you can easily keep track of when it was frozen.

  • Store the carne asada in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the grill or in a skillet.

  • If you plan to use the carne asada within a few days, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. This is a great option if you want to use the leftovers for tacos, burritos, or salads throughout the week.

  • When storing carne asada in the refrigerator, make sure to place it on a plate or in a container to catch any juices that may leak out. This will help keep your refrigerator clean and prevent cross-contamination with other foods.

How To Reheat Leftover Carne Asada

  • To reheat leftover carne asada, the best method is to use a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Brush the surface with a small amount of vegetable oil and place the sliced meat in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, just until the steak is heated through and slightly crispy on the edges. This method helps to preserve the texture and flavor of the carne asada while preventing it from becoming tough or dry.

  • Another option is to reheat the carne asada in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the sliced meat on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover the meat with another sheet of foil to prevent it from drying out. Heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the steak is warmed through. This method is particularly useful if you have a large amount of leftover carne asada to reheat.

  • For a quick and easy solution, you can also reheat the carne asada in the microwave. Place the sliced meat on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the steak is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the meat, as it can quickly become tough and rubbery in the microwave.

  • If you plan to use the leftover carne asada in a new dish, such as tacos, burritos, or salads, you can simply add the cold, sliced meat directly to the preparation. The heat from the other ingredients will gently warm the steak, preserving its texture and flavor while integrating it into the new dish.

Interesting Fact About Carne Asada

The spicy carne asada recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines soy sauce, lime juice, ancho chili powder, and other seasonings to create a mouthwatering marinade for the flat iron steak. This recipe is perfect for grilling and results in a tender and juicy steak with a spicy kick. The marinade infuses the meat with rich flavors, making it a popular choice for a variety of occasions. Whether it's a family barbecue or a casual dinner, this spicy carne asada recipe is sure to impress with its bold and zesty taste. Try it out for your next Mexican cuisine night!

Is Making Carne Asada at Home Cost-Effective?

This spicy carne asada recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as flat iron steak, soy sauce, and lime juice, are reasonably priced and readily available. The dish offers a delightful balance of flavors and is versatile for various meals. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30, making it an affordable and satisfying option. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its cost-effectiveness and delicious outcome.

Is Carne Asada Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spicy carne asada recipe is a delicious and flavorful dish, but it may not be the healthiest option due to a few factors:

  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of vegetable oil and sugar, which can add extra calories and unhealthy fats to the dish.
  • Soy sauce is high in sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues when consumed in excess.
  • The recipe doesn't include any vegetables or other nutrient-dense ingredients, focusing mainly on the meat.

However, there are some positive aspects to the recipe:

  • Flat iron steak is a relatively lean cut of beef, which can be a good source of protein.
  • The marinade includes lime juice and garlic, which offer some vitamins and antioxidants.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of vegetable oil and sugar in the marinade, or replace some of the oil with a healthier alternative like olive oil.
  • Use low-sodium soy sauce to decrease the overall sodium content of the dish.
  • Serve the carne asada with a variety of grilled or roasted vegetables to add more nutrients and fiber to the meal.
  • Opt for whole grain tortillas or lettuce wraps instead of traditional white flour tortillas to increase the fiber content.
  • Use a leaner cut of beef, such as sirloin or flank steak, to further reduce the fat content of the dish.

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the bold flavors of the spicy carne asada while also incorporating some healthier elements into the meal.

Editor's Opinion on This Spicy Carne Asada Recipe

This spicy carne asada recipe is a tantalizing blend of flavors that will surely excite your taste buds. The marinade infuses the steak with a perfect balance of savory, tangy, and spicy notes, creating a mouthwatering dish that is sure to impress. The grilling process adds a delightful char and smokiness, enhancing the overall sensory experience. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, making this recipe accessible for both novice and experienced cooks. Whether served in tacos, burritos, or as a standalone dish, this carne asada is a surefire way to elevate your next meal.

Enhance Your Spicy Carne Asada Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Corn on the Cob: Try grilling some corn on the cob and slathering it with a spicy chipotle butter for a perfect complement to the spicy carne asada.
Mango Avocado Salad: Create a refreshing mango avocado salad with a zesty lime vinaigrette to balance out the heat of the carne asada.
Cilantro Lime Rice: Whip up a batch of cilantro lime rice to serve alongside the spicy carne asada for a flavorful and filling meal.

Similar Recipes to Spicy Carne Asada

Spicy Carne Asada Fries: Seasoned fries topped with spicy carne asada, melted cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
Grilled Chimichurri Chicken: Marinated grilled chicken topped with a zesty chimichurri sauce made with parsley, garlic, and red wine vinegar.
Mango Salsa Shrimp Tacos: Grilled shrimp tacos topped with a fresh and tangy mango salsa made with diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice.

Perfect Appetizers and Desserts for Spicy Carne Asada

Stuffed Mushrooms: For a delicious and savory appetizer, try making stuffed mushrooms. The combination of earthy mushrooms, creamy cheese, and flavorful herbs will surely impress your guests. You can customize the filling with ingredients like spinach, bacon, or even crab meat for a variety of options.
Bruschetta: Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer that never fails to please. Toasted bread topped with a mixture of fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil creates a burst of flavor in every bite. You can also get creative with different toppings such as roasted red peppers, artichokes, or even a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a unique twist.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with warm, gooey chocolate in every bite. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and richness.
Tiramisu: Transport yourself to Italy with a classic tiramisu, featuring layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese. Dust the top with cocoa powder for a touch of bitterness that complements the sweetness of the dessert.

Why trust this Spicy Carne Asada Recipe:

This spicy carne asada recipe features a perfect balance of flavors and spices, ensuring a mouthwatering experience. The marinade, infused with soy sauce, lime juice, and ancho chili powder, guarantees a burst of authentic Mexican taste. The use of flat iron steak promises a tender and juicy result, while the grilling method enhances the charred and smoky essence. With a meticulous cooking process and a rich blend of ingredients, this recipe embodies the essence of traditional carne asada, earning the trust of any discerning food enthusiast.

Share your thoughts on this Spicy Carne Asada Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section and let us know how it turned out for you!
How long should I marinate the steak?
I recommend marinating the steak for at least 4 hours, but it can be marinated for up to 8 hours for maximum flavor.
Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other cuts of beef such as flank steak or skirt steak if flat iron steak is not available.
Can I grill the steak indoors if I don’t have an outdoor grill?
Absolutely! You can use a grill pan or a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop to achieve similar results.
Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this recipe?
Yes, you can adjust the spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili powder to suit your preference.
How should I store any leftover carne asada?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s great for making tacos, burritos, or salads the next day!

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