Authentic taco vs. Texmex taco – Easy Homemade Tacos Recipe

Tacos are maybe one of the most popular foods in the world, both when eating out and eating at home. Probably only surpassed by pizza. There are many different versions of tacos, the most common is probably a version of Texmex tacos. I am going to compare that to a very uncomplicated Mexican street food version known as carne asada tacos. This is my recipe for amazing homemade tacos.

We love tacos here at home, it’s super easy to make and everybody gets to pick whatever they like to put on top. Want it spicy? Add some chilies. Love cucumbers? Go nuts. But we almost always eat a Texmex-type version of tacos, so I wanted to make a more authentic Mexican version and compare the two.

If you are just here for the recipe, you can press the button underneath to be automagically transported to the recipe:

Jump to Tex Mex Tacos Recipe Jump to Carne Asada Tacos Recipe Jump to Video

The mini tortilla dough in this homemade taco recipe

There are three different tortilla doughs in this recipe. Corn tortillas are quintessential Mexican tortillas. Flour tortillas are very common in the United States, and sourdough discard is my invention.

homemade tacos in the making

The corn tortillas

Vitals

Total weight594 grams
Hydration145.8%
Yield15 corn tortillas

The dough

When making authentic Mexican tortillas, it is essential to use cornflour. It should be a specific corn flour called masa harina. The hydration may seem very high, but masa harina is a very thirsty flour. Making it using regular flour will not make you an authentic Mexican tortilla.

The dough is straightforward; just add a little salt to enhance the flavor.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
240gmasa harina100%
350gwater145.8%
4gsalt1.7%

If you want to change the dough around, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.

The flour tortillas

Vitals

Total weight604 grams
Hydration69%
Yield15 flour tortillas

The dough

The wheat flour tortilla dough uses just regular flour, as no real gluten development is needed. A good amount of butter is added, for both softness and amazing taste. The salt content is pretty low, but it takes into consideration that salted butter is used. This also helps enhance the softness of the tortillas.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
330gall-purpose flour100%
50gbutter, salted15.2%
220gwater66.7%
4gsalt1.2%

If you want to change the dough around, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.

a homemade tortilla being prepared on a cast iron skillet

The sourdough discard tortillas

Vitals

Total weight604 grams
Pre-fermented flour15.2%
Hydration69%
Yield15 sourdough discard tortillas

The dough

The sourdough discard tortilla dough (not shown in the video) is an enhanced taste version of the flour tortilla. Starter adds amazing taste to any baked good, be it bread, a cake, or something different.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
280gall-purpose flour100%
50gbutter, salted17.9%
170gwater60.7%
100gstarter (100% hydration)35.7%
4gsalt1.4%

If you want to change the dough around, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.

The salsa for the Texmex tacos

For Texmex tacos, a salse is essential. The most commonly used salsa is a pico de gallo, but like a chili, every household, restaurant, or recipe book has its unique recipe.

So for these Texmex tacos, I’ll show you my special recipe that I feel is super well balanced and incredibly delicious.

I’ve split it out into a separate recipe that you can find here.

homemade salsa in a weck jar

The conclusion of this homemade taco recipe

So here are my taste notes on the Texmex tacos:

  • Wonderfully crunchy fresh vegetables.
  • It’s an amazing salsa that imparts lots of taste and the perfect zing.
  • The meat has a great texture and has lots of flavor and heat.
  • The flour tortilla is lovely, soft, and not dry at all. The taste is pleasant but does not overpower anything.

My notes for the Mexican street food tacos:

  • Super tender and juicy meat.
  • The marinating of the meat brings all the flavors to the taco without the bulk.
  • The zing of the lime cuts through the richness of the meat
  • While some people hate it, the coriander is the taste that makes this genuinely Mexican.
  • The corn tortilla is soft and not dry. It’s slightly sweet, which suits the overall taste.

So which one is better? I hate to be that guy, but they’re both excellent. The carne asada taco is easier to make, but not by much. They’re both fresh and meaty. They both give you that comfort food kick that you crave for a taco.

Pick either recipe, and you’ll be a happy camper.

tex mex tacos vs authentic mexican carne asada tacos. amazing homemade tacos recipe

If you’re a woodworker and want to make the taco holder in the picture, you can download my design here. I made mine with Danish oak.

Please share this recipe for homemade tacos on social media

This is my recipe for amazing homemade tacos. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded food lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Ad links! Links for equipment and ingredients in this recipe are affiliate links, which means I will get a commission if you purchase the product!

Jump to Tex Mex Tacos Recipe

Carne Asada Tacos

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef, mexican, tacos
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 15 tacos
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Carne Asada Tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 taco)
Calories 172 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 279mg12%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 9g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Wonderfully soft sweet corn tortillas with well-seared flank steak, topped with lime juice and coriander (cilantro). Simple and highly yummy.
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Ingredients

Marinade

  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • lime juice 1 lime
  • lemon juice 1 lemon
  • orange juice 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 jalapeño finely chopped
  • fresh coriander/cilantro leaves 1 handful
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Corn Tortillas

Meat

  • 500 g flank steak

The rest

  • fresh cilantro leaves 1 handful
  • 15 lime wedges
  • 100 g onion

Instructions

Marinate the meat

  • Add everything for the marinade in a zip-lock bag. Massage the bag to mix it well.
  • Add the meat to the bag and distribute the marinade to cover all beef.
  • Put the meat in the fridge. At least for an hour, overnight is better, and 24 hours is perfect.

Make tortilla dough

  • Mix all the ingredients for the tortilla dough. Start with about ¾ of the water.
  • Knead the dough and use as much water as needed to get dough resembling brittle play dough.
  • Rest the dough until you make the tacos.

Prepare the mini tortillas

  • Divide the dough into 40 gram (about two tablespoons) balls.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to high heat. I set it to 210°C/410°F on my PolyScience The Control °Freak.
  • Press a dough ball flat in the tortilla and press between two pieces of parchment paper.
  • Put in on the skillet and fry until it gets brown spots underneath, about 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Then flip it over and finish frying on the other side. Put the tortillas in a clean dishtowel in a stack; they stay warm and soft until serving them.
  • You can also put the tortillas in your proofer or an oven set to low temperature to keep them warm. Keep them in the dishtowel.

Prepare the meat

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to high heat. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on the pan.
  • Add the steak to the pan. Fry for 4 to 6 minutes on each side until it's done to your liking.
  • While the meat is frying cut some limes into wedges and pluck the coriander off the plant.
  • Let it rest on a cutting board with aluminum foil over top for 10 minutes, then cut the meat into mouth-friendly slices.

Assemble the tacos

  • Put everything on the table and let your diners assemble their tacos after their preference. There should be enough food for 3 to 4 people depending on how hungry they are.

Video

Tex Mex Tacos

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Keyword: spicy food, tacos, tex mex
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 15 tacos
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Tex Mex Tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 tex mex taco)
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Sodium 414mg18%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 13g26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Texmex tacos with spicy ground beef served in delicious homemade mini tortillas with all the trimmings.
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Ingredients

Flour Tortillas

  • 330 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g butter, salted
  • 240 ml water, divided
  • 4 g table salt

Sourdough Discard Tortillas

  • 280 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g butter, salted
  • 170 ml water, divided
  • 100 g sourdough starter
  • 4 g table salt

Taco Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Taco meat

  • 1 red onion, small
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

The rest

  • 200 g cheese, shredded
  • 150 g lettuce, shredded
  • 200 g tomatoes, diced
  • 200 g cucumbers, diced
  • homemade salsa

Instructions

Make tortilla dough

  • Pick if you want regular tortillas or sourdough discard tortillas.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the tortilla dough. Start with about ¾ of the water.
  • Knead the dough and use as much water as needed to get a tacky but not sticky dough.
  • Rest the dough until you make the tacos.

Make the taco seasoning

  • Mix all the ingredients for the taco seasoning.
  • Leave it until you prepare the meat.

Prepare the mini tortillas

  • Divide the dough into 40 gram (about 2 tablespoons) balls.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to high heat. I set it to 210°C/410°F on my PolyScience The Control °Freak.
  • Press a dough ball flat in the tortilla and press between two pieces of parchment paper.
  • Put in on the skillet and fry until it gets brown spots underneath, about 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Then flip it over and finish frying on the other side. Put the tortillas in a clean dishtowel in a stack; they stay warm and soft until serving them.
  • You can also put the tortillas in your proofer or an oven set to low temperature to keep them warm. Keep them in the dishtowel.

Prepare the meat

  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on the pan.
  • Fry the red onion and garlic until softened and fragrant.
  • Then add the meat to the pan and brown it.
  • While the meat is browning, prepare all the toppings. So shred some lettuce and cheese, dice some tomatoes and cucumbers, and get the salsa out of the fridge.
  • Once you've browned the beef, pour the entire spice mixture over the meat and mix well.

Assemble the tacos

  • Put everything on the table and let your diners assemble their tacos after their preference. There should be enough food for 3 to 4 people depending on how hungry they are.

Video

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