top of page

Carne Asada Marinade

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

30 Minutes


20 Servings



About the Recipe

This traditional Mexican carne asada marinade recipe will marinade 5 or 6 pounds of meat and can be easily halved or doubled. I've tried many carne asada recipes through the years, and this one outshines them all. The flavors are the most flavorful and authentic and the meat is pull-apart tender. I suggest marinating overnight for the best results. Bon Appetit!


3 whole dried ancho chilies, stems removed

3 whole dried guajillo chilies, stems removed

3/4 cup fresh juice from 2 to 3 oranges, preferably sour oranges

2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 to 3 limes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons well-made fish sauce (we prefer Red Boat)

6 medium cloves garlic

1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, divided

4 Tablespoons Sonoran Spice Rub

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Kosher salt

2 pounds skirt steak (approx 2-3 whole skirt steaks), trimmed and cut with the grain into 5- to 6-inch lengths; flank steak is an alternative if skirt steak is hard to find

Warm corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, diced onion, fresh cilantro, and avocado, for serving


Step 1

Place dried ancho and guajillo chilies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until pliable and toasty-smelling, approximately 10 to 20 seconds.

Step 2

Transfer chiles to the jar of a blender then add, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, beef broth, garlic cloves and cilantro. Pulse for 10 seconds. Next, Sonoran Spice Rub,

brown sugar and a few pinches of kosher salt. Blend until a smooth sauce (salsa) has formed, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Transfer half of the sauce for a marinade to a large bowl and the other half of the sauce to a sealed container for salsa. Place the sealed container in the refrigerator.

Step 4

Continue building the marinade by adding an extra 2 teaspoons of salt to the salsa in the bowl. It should taste slightly saltier than is comfortable to taste. Add 1 piece of steak to bowl and turn to coat. Transfer to a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with the top folded over to prevent excess sauce and meat juices from contaminating the seal. Repeat with remaining steak, adding it all to the same bag. Pour any excess marinade over the steak. Squeeze all air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Step 5

When ready to cook, remove the extra salsa from the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat gas grill by setting half the burners on a to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Charcoal briquettes BBQ option: Allow the coals to light and burn for at least 20-30 minutes, ensuring the coals are hot and glowing before you start grilling.

Step 7

Remove steak from marinade and wipe off excess. Place directly over the hot side of the grill. If using a gas grill, cover; if using a charcoal grill or indoor option, leave exposed. Cook, turning occasionally, until steak is well charred on outside and center registers 110°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes total.

Step 8

Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain and serve immediately, passing extra salsa, lime wedges, avocado, onions, cilantro, and tortillas on the side.

Serving: 4 ounces | Calories: 268 kcal | Carbohydrates: 8 g | Protein: 25 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 68 mg | Sodium: 257 mg | Potassium: 510 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 143 IU | Vitamin C: 35 mg | Calcium: 46 mg | Iron: 2 mg | Net Carbs: 7 g

bottom of page