Juicy San Diego-style carne asada is stuffed inside two soft corn tortillas and topped with onions and cilantro to create an authentic Mexican street tacos recipe. Carne Asada street tacos can be made outdoors on the grill or inside on a grill pan.
Steak Street Tacos
The base of this carne asada street tacos recipe is our authentic San Diego-Style Carne Asada. It tastes exactly like the carne asada meat you’d find at local taquerias. It’s unparalleled. Getting the meat right is 99% of street tacos. Don’t pick a recipe just because it only has 3-4 ingredients. The meat itself needs FLAVOR. The flavor shouldn’t come from the toppings themselves.
What Are Street Tacos
A Mexican street taco is basically a smaller, paired down taco. It’s served on two small corn tortillas topped with only meat, onions and cilantro. Maybe a hit of lime juice.
Authentic Mexican street taco recipes don’t have tomatoes, lettuce, cheese or guacamole. Although, due to popularity, some taquerias do serve them with guacamole.
Costco street tacos and Buffalo Wild Wings street tacos are a far cry from authentic, so do yourself a favor and skip them next go around. Homemade street taco recipes really are superior.
Here are some taco topping ideas we love using on carne asada street tacos when we’re looking to mix it up.
4 Ingredient Guacamole
Cheese – Monterey Jack, Cotija Cheese, Queso Fresco or Oaxaca
Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Banana Peppers or Pickled Peppers
Homemade Salsa – Pico de Gallo, Mango Pico de Gallo or Smoked Salsa
Street Taco Tortillas
- Grill – Heat the grill to medium heat. Place the tortillas directly on the grill. Heat for about 30-45 seconds and flip for another 30-45 seconds. You should have pretty grill marks when finished. Do not overcook as the tortillas will become hard and brittle.
- Stove – Pre-heat a comal or non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Heat the tortillas, 2-3 at a time, depending on how many fit in the skillet without overlapping. Heat for approx. 20 seconds on side one, flip and cook for 15 seconds on side two.
- Microwave – Wrap 5-6 tortillas with a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Check and add 10 seconds at a time until warmed throughout.
Street Taco Sauce
Street taco recipes don’t come served with sauce, but it’s easy to add. We’re partial to Tapatio, Cholula, Mexican Crema, Secret Aardvark Habanero Sauce, Chipotle Crema, salsa verde or Homemade Salsa. Use what taco sauce you love and you can’t go wrong.
What To Serve With Tacos
Tacos are amazing on their own, however if you’re looking to make it a well rounded meal, here are some ideas:
- Chips and Salsa – Cook up a batch of Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Beans – Refried Bean Dip, Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Black Beans or Slow Cooker Refried Beans
- Mexican Style Sous Vide Corn on the Cob
- Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Spicy Cucumber Salad
Chicken Street Tacos
Replace the carne asada with a batch of our Pollo Asado to make a chicken street tacos recipe.
Pork Street Tacos
Use crisp salad greens in place of the tortillas.
- To keep the authenticity, heat up a cast iron skillet and brown the carne asada chunks on all sides. You can skip this step if you like. It’s not required, but this is how San Diego taco shops finish their meat. We do this step right before heating up the tortillas.
- Cut meat into 1/4″ squares for the best ratio per bite and texture.
- Plan on using about 2 oz of steak per taco.
- To cut down on prep time (even though it’s already minimal), cut the onions and cilantro while the carne asada is resting.
- 1 Lb Carne Asada (*Note 1)
- 16 Corn Tortillas, Street Taco Size (*Note 2)
- ½ cup Chopped Cilantro
- 1 cup Diced White Onion
Carne Asada Meat:
- Prepare a half batch of the carne asada steak recipe. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before dicing.
Carne Asada Street Tacos:
- Heat up a comal, cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
- OPTIONAL STEP: Dice the meat into 1/4" pieces. Add the chunks of carne asada to the skillet and brown on all sides. Remove to a large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to keep in the heat.
- Wipe the skillet with a paper towel if you used it to brown the meat. Heat the tortillas, 2 at a time. Heat for approx. 20 seconds on side one, flip and cook for 15 seconds on side two. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel until all the tortillas are warmed.
- Build the tacos: Place two tortillas on top of each other and add steak, diced onions and cilantro. Enjoy immediately.