Carne Asada Marinade

Made with just a few simple ingredients, this authentic carne asada marinade is made with soy sauce, citrus juices, and warm spices like cumin and cloves. Enjoy carne asada over rice or in warm tortillas.

Garnishing carne asada marinade with lime juice.

I fell in love with carne asada during my visit to Sante Fe a few years ago. Smoky, tender, juicy and delicious, I couldn’t wait to get home and recreate it myself. Typically served with warm corn tortillas, it’s also delicious over a bed of rice and beans or over a bowl of Mexican slaw. It’s a hit with my whole family, so you’ll definitely want to try my Carne Asada Marinade.


  • Orange: Sweet and citrusy, orange juice helps to make the meat tender and add flavor.
  • Lime: Paired with the orange juice, lime juice adds more of that authentic citrus flavor to the carne asada.
  • Garlic: A bit spicy and nutty in flavor, it
  • Soy sauce: Adds great umami and salty flavor to the meat.
  • Olive oil: Helps to add volume to the marinade and coat the meat.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Balances out the heat and spice with some acidity.
  • Warm spices: Cumin and cloves join together to help create the smoky, warm heat for the steak.
  • Salt and pepper: Balances and enhances the flavors.
  • Skirt steak: Marbled for strong flavor, it soaks up the marinade to become tender and delicious.

How to Make Carne Asada Marinade

Juicing orange

Start your carne asada marinade by juicing your orange and lime into a bowl.

Liz Grating Garlic

Next take a microplane and grate the garlic into the juice, and sprinkle in the cumin, cloves, salt, and pepper.

Liz Adding Soy Sauce

Next add the soy sauce to the bowl.

Adding vinegar to bowl

Followed by the apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Pouring Marinade Over Meat

Whisk it all together and then pour over the steak, letting it marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Liz Grilling Carne Asada

After you’ve marinated the steak, preheat your grill on high heat and cook your steak for about 4 minutes.

Cutting skirt steak

Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes, then cut it into strips against the grain.

Carne Asada Marinade

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and lime juice with tortillas or rice, and enjoy your Carne Asada Marinade!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long should you marinade beef?

Ideally you will marinade the beef for 4 hours or up to overnight. If you’re short on time, even just one hour will do the trick.

Why do I need to let meat rest before serving?

Before serving, let the meat rest at least 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute. If you cut too soon, all those delicious juices will be released and lost.

What’s the best cut of beef for carne asada?

You’ll want to use a well marbled cut such as skirt steak or flat ironed steak. Alternatively, flank steak works as well.

Carne asada marinade.

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Liz enjoying carne asada marinade.

An easy and delicious meal to make outside on the grill, give this carne asada marinade a try yourself!

Your fork is waiting.

Carne Asada Marinade

Carne Asada Marinade

5 stars
Made with just a few simple ingredients, this authentic carne asada marinade is made with soy sauce, citrus juices, and warm spices like cumin and cloves. Enjoy carne asada over rice or in warm tortillas.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
TOTAL: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6



  • Whisk together all ingredients and pour over skirt steak placed in a large baking dish. Cover and marinade for 4 hours or overnight.
  • To cook, preheat grill on high heat. Grill steak 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 


This recipe is made for 2 pounds of skirt steak. 


Serving: 6ouncesCalories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 34gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 824mgPotassium: 517mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 61IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 3mg

2 thoughts on “Carne Asada Marinade”

  1. I love the sound of your marinade and would like to try it. The meat I have is already sliced thinly and every time I try an asada recipe with it it’s tough and chewy. What cooking method would work with your recipe?

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