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Juicy and tender Carne Asada with perfectly charred edges is flavorful, delicious, and so easy to make. Cook this Mexican steak in under 15 minutes. |

Carne Asada

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Juicy and tender Carne Asada with perfectly charred edges is flavorful, delicious, and so easy to make. Cook this Mexican steak in under 15 minutes. 


  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (from 1 lime)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 flank steaks or skirt steaks (each piece about 1 pound)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce, sugar, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well until smooth.
  2. Add steaks to the bowl and use your hands to rub the marinade evenly over them. (I recommend wearing disposable gloves for easy clean-up). 
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and marinate for at least 2 hours (or overnight) in the fridge. You can also marinate the steaks in a large Ziploc bag.
  4. When ready to cook, remove the bowl from the fridge and place on the counter for 20-30 minutes to bring the steaks to room temperature. This will help the steak cook evenly.
  5. Use a paper towel to pat the steaks dry. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  6. Brush some oil over a grill pan or skillet. Heat on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. You should notice the oil shimmer and sizzle when it's hot and ready.
  7. Place the steaks on the grill pan and cook until desired doneness, about 6-8 minutes per side. 
    • For medium doneness - Cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 F on a meat thermometer
    • For medium rare - The target temperature should be 135 F.
  8. Remove the steaks from the pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep them moist.
  9. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes. Resting after cooking helps the juices redistribute into the meat as the internal temperature for the steaks continue to rise a little while resting. 
  10. Slice and serve warm.

If cooking on the barbecue grill:

You can easily cook these steaks on your barbecue following the same instructions. The cook time might be a couple minutes shorter, about 5-7 minutes per side.


Make ahead instructions: Follow this recipe as directed and store the raw, marinated carne asada in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days before cooking. However it’s best to use it within 24 hours. If you notice your raw meat smells off or looks slimy after a few days, it’s gone bad and should be thrown out.

How to store: Keep leftover cooked carne asada in the fridge for 3-4 days in a shallow, airtight container.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican