Skirt Steak and Asparagus with Salsa de Semillas


Loaded with pumpkin seed kernels, cashews, and sesame seeds, salsa de semillas is a lesser-known but beloved Mexican nut-based salsa.

Skirt Steak and Asparagus with Salsa de Samillas Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped unseeded dried chipotle chile, divided

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) skirt steak

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Lime wedges, cilantro leaves, and cooked long-grain rice, for serving


  1. Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low until fragrant. Add cashews, pepitas, sesame seeds, garlic, and oregano; cook, stirring often, until cashews are light golden and toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon chipotle and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a small bowl.

  2. Slice steak with the grain into 3-inch-wide strips; slice strips against the grain into 3/8-inch-wide strips.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add half of the steak; sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, undisturbed, until a crust forms, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook just until no longer pink, about 15 seconds. Transfer steak to a medium bowl, and wipe skillet clean. Repeat process using 1 tablespoon oil, remaining steak, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Wipe skillet clean.

  4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet; heat over high. Add asparagus; cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Return steak and accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons chipotle; season with salt, if desired.

  5. Transfer steak mixture to a serving plate; top with 1/4 cup salsa. Squeeze limes over steak mixture; garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice and remaining salsa.

Suggested Pairing

Light, spicy Grenache.

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