Street tacos have gained in popularity over recent years. However, me and my buddies back in high school were heading down to Tijuana and scarfing up steak tacos from street vendors at 25¢ a pop… an excellent value for a growing teenager! These tacos were always served with chopped white onions, cilantro, and a lime wedge.
Now, for those of you not from Southern California, radishes are a common tacqueria accompaniment/garnish with carne asada, taco, and other dishes. Their crunchy, peppery flavor are the perfect contrast to the steak. Seems to me that a radish salsa makes total sense!
Carne Asada Street Tacos with Radish Salsa
serves four to six
1 bunch cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
3 scallions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Serrano chile, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder (I use Gebhardt chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak trimmed and separated
1 bunch red radishes, grated or chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro, packed
Juice from 1/2 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Warmed small street-style corn tortillas
Crumbled Cotija cheese (can substitute crumbled feta)
Grilling Method: Direct
Reserve enough cilantro (2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro) for the salsa before placing the remainder of the bunch and the other marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blitz to form a loose paste. Place the steak in a large zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the steaks and marinade together making sure that the meat is completely coated. Squeeze the excess air from the bag, seal and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and as long as overnight.
Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Generously salt with kosher salt and let come to room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat grill to high. Brush and oil grates before cooking. Lay steak on the grill at a 45 degree angle to the grates and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, flip and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more for medium-rare. Use a digital thermometer and remove steaks from the grill somewhere between 125°F and 130°F. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before slicing across the grain of the meat. Serve immediately on double warm tortillas with a squeeze of lime, a generous helping of radish salsa, and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!