Huarache con Carne Asada (Mexico City–Style Corn Tortillas with Steak)

Thick, oblong masa tortillas (named huarache, or sandal, because of their shape) are topped with grated cheese, salsa roja, sauteed steak, and sliced cactus in this classic street food.

Huarache con Carne Asada (Mexico City–Style Corn Tortillas with Steak) Huarache con Carne Asada (Mexico City–Style Corn Tortillas with Steak)
Like a giant, open-face taco, huaraches are oblong corn tortillas piled high with toppings—here it's tender steak, melty cheese, salsa roja, and sliced cactus.
Yield: serves 4


  • 1 12 cups masa harina
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 12 cup plus 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup salsa roja
  • 2 oz. queso Cotija, grated
  • 4 (3-oz.) sirloin steaks, pounded to 1/8″ thickness
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4″-thick slices
  • 1 (1-lb. 14-oz.) can sliced nopales, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled, for serving


  1. Make the huaraches: Combine masa harina, salt, and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl, and stir until a smooth dough forms. Knead dough in bowl until very smooth but not sticky, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into quarters and shape each quarter into a 7″-long, 14“-thick oval. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12” cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 huarache to skillet, and cook until blackened in spots on bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and immediately spread with 14 cup salsa and 12 oz. cheese; continue cooking until blackened in spots on bottom and cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a serving plate. Repeat with 3 tbsp. oil, remaining huaraches, salsa, and cheese.
  2. Return skillet to high heat, and add 2 tbsp. oil. Season steaks with salt, and add 2 steaks to skillet; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Place one steak over each huarache, and repeat with 2 tbsp. oil and remaining steaks.
  3. Return skillet to high heat, and add remaining oil. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add cactus, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Divide cactus and onions among steaks, and serve immediately with an avocado half on each plate.