Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos


The secret to success at Brooklyn's Calexico is super-fresh fillings like the pico de gallo in these carne asada tacos.

Chile-Spiced Skirt Steak Tacos
Photo: © Con Poulos
Prep Time:
0 mins
Cook Time:
0 mins
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 35 mins
12 tacos

In 2006, three brothers — Jesse, Brian, and David Vendley — started hawking homemade tacos from a cart on the streets of Soho in Manhattan. In 2009, the trio opened Calexico in Brooklyn. 


  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 5-inch strips

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed

  • Pico de gallo, for serving

  • Avocado salsa, for serving

  • Shredded cabbage, for serving


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the paprika, ancho powder, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, chipotle, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the lime juice and oil and shake the bag to blend. Add the steak and seal the bag. Let the steak stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the steak over moderately high heat, turning twice, until lightly charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 10 minutes. Transfer the steak to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak and serve with tortillas, pico de gallo, avocado salsa, and cabbage.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy California red blend.

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