Tacos de Carne Asada #SundaySupper

taco de carne asada

What comes to mind when you think of Street Food?  Do you immediately get an image in your mind,  start craving a certain food, almost start to drool a tad and wish that you were right there again?  I tell you, when I think of Street Food, I am immediately brought to Newark New Jersey, the Ironbound section in particular, and I start dreaming about Tacos de Carne Asada.

Let me explain, when I first came over to the United States from Portugal, we lived in Newark.  The Ironbound section is an area that is carved out for the Portuguese.  I am not kidding, you don’t have to know one word of English to live there.  Well, if there is one thing that the Portuguese can do, it is celebrate.  So every year in the summer an entire block would close down and there would be a Portuguese Feast.  If I remember correctly, it had something to do with a Saint.  All the restaurants would have food tents and food carts set up outside and you would be able to try everything from Rissois to Filhozes.

There was this one cart that I believe was a family that was friends with my parents that made the best Carne Asada.   I vaguely remember that it was served on very flat bread and you chose your topping.  It was so delicious that it has stayed with me all these years later.

Here is what you must know about this recipe.

1. I have no idea how the Carne Asada was made, I only remember the taste that evokes those memories

2. I am not sure that it was ever served as a Taco but my family enjoys it like this

3. This is not a traditional Carne Asada*, Portuguese Roast.  I love to use Carne Picada because it cooks so quickly and the meat absorbs the flavor of the marinade

*If you have never cooked with Carne Asada, run to your local grocer and grab some.  Did you say you couldn’t find it?  I understand, not everyone carries it BUT if you ask any butcher, they will prepare it for you.  It is basically beef that is almost ground, but not quite.  I believe the proper translation is perforated meat.  Most butchers will know exactly what to do with it.  It is a lifesaver for a busy mom.  I can whip up dinner in no time with carne asada at hand.

You will need the recipe for Portuguese Rice, click here.

Full disclosure:  These Tacos de Carne Asada taste so much better than pictured.  I could not get a good picture of these tacos no matter what I did!  Thank goodness I am a better cook than a photographer.

Tacos de Carne Asada #SundaySupper
Serves: 8
  • 2½ pounds of carne asada
  • 1 small red onion, chopped very fine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 1 tomato diced into small cubes
  • 2 green onions sliced thinly
  • 2 ounces of queijo branco or queijo fresco shredded
  • 2 cups of arugula or your lettuce of choice
  • 1 juice from 1 lime
  • 1 cup of Portuguese Rice
  1. Marinade the carne asada with onion, garlic, salt, paprika and red wine for at least one hour or as long as overnight
  2. Add the olive oil to a hot skillet and add the carne asada and marinade
  3. Cook on high for approximately 15 minutes
  4. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for approximately 15 minutes
  5. Mix the Carne Asada mixture with the portuguese rice and let sit covered for 10 minutes
  6. In the meantime heat the tortillas either in the oven or in the toaster
  7. Layer the tortilla with arugula, carne asada mixture, tomato and onions. Top with queijo branco and fold the tortilla
  8. Drizzle with juice from one lime

 This week’s Global Street Food Sunday Supper is co-hosted by Heather from girlichef  and Beate from Not So Cheesy Kitchen and you are going to love all these fun and memorable Global Street Food Recipes!

Bread on the Boulevard

Hand-Held Savory Eats

To-Go Containers

Sweets on the Streets

Grab a Thermos 

Sunday Supper MovementSo tell me, what are your favorite (GLOBAL) STREET FOODS?  Do you seek out food trucks, carts, and vendors? Feel free to leave me any links or stories that you may have about Street Food experiences in the comments section.  Also, please join us for our live twitter chat tonight at 7pm (Eastern) using the #SundaySupper hashtag, and check out the Sunday Supper board on Pinterest.


  1. says

    I am learning SO much this week! My family would love these tacos…and I’m going to see if my butcher will prepare some carne asada for me (never knew this was a cut of meat!).

  2. says

    I love reading about early childhood memories and find it fascinating how food always plays a big role :)

    Your carne asada tacos look perfect!!! I had no idea how perfect carne asada is :) Thank you !

  3. says

    Fascinating, Isabel! Love to visit the Ironbound section at festival time in Newark, New Jersey to see the sights of and smell the aromas of Portugal =)

    Thank you for the tips about asking for carne asada. Your recipe looks yummy!

  4. says

    Never had Carne Asadas but looking at your pics and description,I’m sold!!!They sound delicious with your portugese rice in there!!So yum!

  5. says

    I’ve made Carne Asada and didn’t know you could buy it. But what I made is a Mexican version of marinated and grilled thin steak.
    Anyway, tacos with carne asada are just amazing. I can see why your family loves them this way.

Leave a Reply