Carne Asada with Chipotle and Honey

We’ve tweaked this taqueria classic by adding chipotle, soy sauce and honey for a bit of sweetly spicy umami flavor. Be sure to reserve a tablespoon of the marinade before adding it to the meat; you’ll use it to make a quick dressing after slicing the cooked steak. Inexpensive skirt steak is great cut of beef for this recipe; cooking it hot and fast is the key to reaping the most tender results. If grilling outside isn’t an option, this recipe works equally well on a grill pan. Slice the steak against the grain, and serve with warm tortillas and your favorite taco toppings. Chop up leftovers and serve with black beans over eggs and sliced avocado for a hearty riff on huevos rancheros.

Carne Asada
Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for oiling grill

  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, divided

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut crosswise into 2 equal pieces

  • Lime wedges and pico de gallo, for serving


  1. Heat oil, cumin, and garlic in a small skillet over medium. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant and garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes. Combine oil mixture, 1/2 cup cilantro, lime juice, soy sauce, chile powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and honey in a blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Reserve 1 tablespoon marinade mixture; pour remaining mixture over skirt steak pieces in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag. Seal bag, and shake to ensure steak is evenly coated. Chill 2 hours.

  2. Remove steaks from marinade, and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels (do not rub off excess marinade). Sprinkle both sides of steaks with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and let stand at room temperature while preheating grill.

  3. Open bottom vent of grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with natural lump charcoal (about 4 pounds). When the charcoal is covered with gray ash, pour evenly onto bottom grate of grill. Place top grill grate on grill, close lid, and preheat to high (450°F to 500°F).

  4. Place steaks on oiled grill grate. Grill, uncovered, until charred and cooked to desired degree of doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let steak rest 5 minutes on a cutting board with a juice channel. Slice steak against the grain. Stir together board juices and reserved 1 tablespoon marinade; drizzle over sliced steak. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and pico de gallo.

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