Chef Fig’s Cinco Salsa Carne Asada Tacos

Chef Fig’s Cinco Salsa Carne Asada Tacos

This recipe transforms simple skirt steak into tender delicious morsels of meaty goodness. I also do the same recipe and serve it with chimichurri, black beans and rice, plantains and salad, but that is for another day and this recipe is a celebration of the perfect vessel of flavor: El Taco. The aroma of warm corn tortillas is enough to get me excited, but wait until you try the salsa/marinade made with 5 Melinda’s sauces. I call it my Cinco Salsa.  
5 from 3 votes
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Created by: Chef Fig


The Meat

  • 4 lbs skirt steak

The Cinco Salsa and Marinade

The Accoutrements

  • warm corn tortillas
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • ½ white onion diced, small
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup grated queso fresco cheese
  • 3-4 scallions chopped

 Avocado Salsa



  • There is nothing worse than spending all this time on a perfect taco and then it’s cold! Follow these preparation steps so everything is ready when your meat is hot off the grill. 
  • Make your marinade.  
  • Trim silver skin and excess fat from meat, salt and then coat meat in marinade and place in the refrigerator. 
  • Make your salsa and refrigerate it. 
    (TIP) Grate your queso fresco with the tines of a fork, this is the best way to get light and fluffy  little balls of cheese to sprinkle on your tacos, refrigerate.
  • Chop your cilantro and onions
  • Make your tortillas and keep them warm or warm them before eating.
  • Cut some lime wedges

Avocado Salsa

  • Add tomatillos and garlic clove to a pot of water and boil. When water boils, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10-12 mins. When the tomatillos are soft, using a slotted spoon and place in a blender with the garlic clove. Add avocado, cilantro, salt, lime juice and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the hot sauces and stir in. Taste and add more hot sauce if you want a spicer salsa, Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

The Marinade

  • Remove stems and seeds from your dried chile pods. If you can’t find these pods, use ground chiles instead. (TIP) If you don’t find these in your grocery store, your local Latino store or tienda sells these, along with homemade tortillas and other goodies. 
  • In a large skillet, toast the chiles, cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes until they become aromatic. Place chilies and spice in a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, fish sauce, olive oil, sugar, kosher salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • Salt your steaks and coat with the marinade.  Place in a large zipper bag for no less than one hour or overnight. You should have plenty of the Cinco Salsa leftover, you can use it on the tacos, you can also heat up the meat with it in a skillet or you can freeze the remainder and use it for another batch.

Build a Fire

  • Heat your grill, preferable hardwood lump charcoal and a lot of it. You want a very intense fire. The faster and more furiously you cook the skirt steak, the more charred it will be on the outside and pink on the inside.   When your heat source is blazing, do a light sprinkle of kosher salt and place on the grill for 1 minute per side for rare or 90 seconds per side for med-rare.  Remove the meat and place it in a pan and tent with foil.

Chow Time

  • Slice your steak against the grain. You can serve it immediately or using a large cast iron skillet on med-high heat, toss you meat in the pan with some of the Cinco Salsa, chopped scallions and a squeeze of lime. Allow the meat and salsa to caramelize a bit 1 to 2 minutes max. Now it’s time to make a taco. 
    My favorite method is tortilla, meat, salsa, cilantro, onions, and a sprinkle of queso fresco.