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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Carne asada on the grill

UPDATED: Mon., July 1, 2019

Carne asada can be made with flank and skirt steak. (Audrey Alfaro / For The Spokesman-Review)
Carne asada can be made with flank and skirt steak. (Audrey Alfaro / For The Spokesman-Review)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

Since we’re all taking advantage of the summer sun with outdoor cooking and festivities, I thought that it was prime time to share one of my favorite grilling recipes: carne asada, which literally translates to “grilled meat.”

Full of vibrant Mexican flavors, carne asada is steak that has been marinated and grilled. It’s thin sliced against the grain and typically served with warm tortillas and pico de gallo or alongside rice and beans and can be chopped up for tacos, salads, burritos and nachos.

The zesty marinade is made with olive oil, orange and lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onions, cilantro and seasonings. Whisk all the ingredients together and add the steak. The most difficult part is waiting the 3 hours for it to marinate, but you also could just throw it together before bed and let it marinate overnight.

This Latin American dish commonly uses flank or skirt steak. While they’re both intensely meaty cuts, flank steak tends to be leaner, while skirt steak has more tough fibers. But when cooked medium rare and sliced thinly, they both yield tender and juicy results.

If you don’t have a grill, wipe away those tears because this also can be made in a hot skillet on the stove or broiled in the oven. Just be sure to use your stove vent, as a good sear can produce quite a bit of smoke. Once both sides are seared, you can lower the heat to finish cooking.

Have leftovers? Looks like it’s migas for breakfast! Just add your chopped-up carne asada to a scramble of fried corn tortilla pieces, eggs, peppers, onions and cheese and serve topped with salsa, avocado and cilantro.

Carne asada

Adapted from

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 limes, juiced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup onion, minced

1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2-3 pounds flank steak

In a large glass baking dish or non-reactive bowl, add all the ingredients together except for the steak and whisk until combined. Add the steak into the marinade, turning a few times to evenly coat, and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Lightly oil the grill grates and preheat the grill to high. Alternatively, you can cook the steak on high heat on the stove top in a skillet or under the broiler. Remove the flank steak from the marinade and discard excess marinade.

Grill the steak for 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired doneness. Let the meat rest on a cutting board, tented with aluminum foil, for about 10 minutes.

To serve, thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at

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