Carne Asada Marinade or Pescado Asada or Tofu Asada
Our grocery store used to sell a great marinated Carne Asada that Dan loved! It was a beautiful deep red marinade that clung to the steak, and as he grilled it the smell was just amazing.
Now, as a side note, even though I don’t eat beef, the smell of grilled steak always smells great to me. Something nostalgic about it, I think. It brings back childhood memories of times when your only cares were about going out to play. No worries, no bills, no house cleaning. Just good times, and grilled food from my dad.
But, times change, and I don’t eat steak anymore, nor does our grocery store sell that beautiful marinated steak. Our guess is that one of the butchers made his own family recipe, and when he left, he took that recipe with him.
So, we set out to find a replacement recipe for his marinade. We figured, ultimately, it would be better if we could make our own anyway.
We set out on a quest to find a perfect, traditional, Carne Asada Marinade, preferably one with that deep red beautiful color that we had gotten used to. I asked my friends on Facebook if they had recipes. We got a few, but nothing really struck us as traditional. One, from our friend Chad had soy sauce in it. We thought that couldn’t be, how could soy sauce make a good Carne Asada. So, we did some research and testing. We tested lots of different recipes with different ingredients. None quite hit the mark.
When, one night, we were watching Rick Bayless (you know, that all knowledgeable guru of Mexican food!), and he said that many cooks in Mexico use soy sauce in their Carne Asada. What!?! Well, we were sold. Chad told us. Rick Bayless told us.
We tried it. And, yep, you guessed it, it’s perfect. Traditional, authentic, yummy. It doesn’t have that same color, but that’s ok. So good, in fact, I’ve marinated Swordfish and tofu in it many times as well. I’d guess that chicken would work really well in it. I want to try marinating some veggies in it before grilling them too, I bet it’ll give a great flavor to them!
So, thanks to Chad, you rock! We owe you. How about we pay you back with some tacos?
The marinade itself is easy to put together. Just mix up a few ingredients. Dan likes to put the skirt steak in the ziplock bag. I usually put the tofu in a glass dish. I recommend the 24 hours for marinating; it gives time for all the flavors to get to know each other. But, if you need it sooner than that, you can do as little as one hour.
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Juice of 1 Meyer lemon or 2 limes
- ½-3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Mix all ingredients with a whisk or with a hand mixer with the whisk attachment until thoroughly combined.
- Place steak, fish, or tofu in a ziplock bag or a glass dish. Pour marinade over and mix so that marinade touches all areas of item to be marinated. Remove as much air as possible from the ziplock bag, and place in fridge for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
- Remove steak, swordfish, or tofu from bag and grill, and discard extra sauce. When finished cooking, place steak or swordfish on plate and cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes (tofu will not need to rest). When ready to serve, thinly slice steak across the grain of the meat.
- If making carne asada, use 1 to 2 pounds skirt steak.
- If making swordfish asada, use 1 to 2 pounds fish.
- If making tofu asada, use 12-16 ounces, sliced
- 8 servings as fajita meat or 4 as main course
- Because this is a marinade, the calorie evaluation is going to be off. Most of the marinade is drained off after soaking the item in it. If you use a veggie item to soak in, you can reuse the marinade, say for veggies for the meal. But, if you marinate beef, chicken, or fish in it, the extra will need to be discarded.