Growing up, I didn’t eat a lot of Mexican food. In our house it was all Chinese food all the time thanks to the unadventurous palate of my father. My dad’s the kind of man who’ll insist on eating Chinese food whether he’s at home or on vacation where the only option for Chinese food consists of orange chicken and chop suey.
Unlike my dad, I’m willing to give anything a go just once. And if I’m on vacation you better believe I’m eating where the locals eat. A couple of years back Mike and I stayed in Playa del Carmen for a little over a month and I sure as hell stayed away from the Señor Frogs. Instead we were found stuffing our faces with street tacos with the rest of the locals.
I became a little addicted to street tacos after that trip. And even though Vancouver may seem like a city filled with tonnes of options for ethnic food, it wasn’t always so. It used to be that authentic Mexican food just couldn’t be found. Thankfully there are a bunch of little taco joints around now. My favourite of the bunch is La Taqueria: an authentic Mexican run shop that specializes in street tacos.
Street tacos means street taco sized tortillas. (Street tacos tortillas are tiny, maybe only 4″ in size.) The last time I was at La Taqueria, I asked if they made their tortillas in house. I figured I could buy some off them and play with street taco making at home. The Friendly Taco Guy answered no, but he helpfully told me where I could buy them.
Me: So…where do you get your tortillas then?
Friendly Taco Guy: This tortilla factory…I think it’s called El Comal.
Friendly Taco Guy: El Comal.
At this point, I was distracted by our tacos, so Friendly Taco Guy started talking to Mike instead. Turns out El Comal is little Mexican Food Factory located in Burnaby. A bit of a drive for us, but their daily made corn tortillas are worth it. Even if you can’t find tiny tortillas, you should give this recipe a try: it’s flavour-packed and fresh.
Carne Asada Recipe adapted from No Recipes
yield: 12 tacos
- 1 pound steak, sliced (I used flat iron steak)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1-2 chilies, minced (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon pureed kiwi
- minced cilantro
- finely diced onion
- your favourite hot sauce
Thinly slice the steak and place in a bowl. Combine the marinade ingredients and add to the steak. Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, but not overnight. (The kiwi will break the steak down and turn it to mush if you let it marinate over night).
When ready to grill, remove from the fridge and let the meat come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). This will ensure even cooking. Heat a cast iron pan on high and cook the steak until nicely browned.
Serve on warmed corn tortillas with cilantro, onion, hot sauce and limes. Enjoy!