PENINSULA KITCHEN: How to make homemade street tacos

MY DAUGHTER, ABBY, turns 12 Monday.

Twelve. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that piece of news.

I remember 12 viscerally. Like a wound.

It was a hard time for me, full of angst and darkness. I look at my girl, though, and I see light and joy.

I won’t project my own 12-ness onto her.

Instead, I revel in her passion for art and kindness, friendship and creativity. I’d never want to be 12 again, but it sure is fun to see her version of tweenhood.

On a recent Tuesday, my passionate daughter requested we mix up our usual bean and ground beef Taco Tuesday plan and attempt making something closer to a street taco.

Turns out it’s a very simple process.

You can get away with using lots of different cuts of beef for this.

In my quest to find an easy recipe, I saw flank or skirt steak used as well as pretty much any other thinly sliced beef cut you can get your hands on.

I usually settle on beef sirloin because it is readily available.

Tiny corn tortillas make this seem more akin to the street tacos my husband and I find when we visit the Mexican Baja Peninsula.

Be sure to heat them up so they wrap around your filling instead of crack apart.

I’m not entirely sure what magic happens when you put these ingredients together, but all together, alchemy happens when you eat these.

I realize these are not exactly authentic, but they are tasty, and while I’ve got my daughter here at Chez Sanford, I’ll make them — if only because she loves them and I love her.

Sanford-style beef street tacos

1½ pounds very thinly sliced beef sirloin

Marinade ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Taco ingredients:

Cilantro and onion chopped together


Radish slices

Sour cream or Mexican crema

Small corn tortillas

Mix beef with marinade ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking.

Let the beef warm to room temperature while you gather your other supplies and heat a large cast iron skillet with enough oil to coat it.

Heat skillet until it is very hot and cook beef in batches, searing it crisp on one side, then flipping it to cook the other side.

Don’t overcook the meat. It only needs four to five minutes total.

Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat until all meat is done.

Warm tortillas in the oven, or fry quickly on a skillet as you make your tacos.

To build your tacos: Place some meat into the warm tortillas, top with the cilantro and onion mixture, radish slices, salsa and sour cream. Squeeze some extra lime juice on top for extra yum.

Watch your almost teenager devour platefuls with glee.


Carrie Sanford, who shares the Peninsula Kitchen column with Betsy Wharton, is a mother, wife, educator, artist, activist and cook.

She writes the newsletter for Salt Creek Farm in Joyce during the growing season and volunteers with nonprofits and schools in Port Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Tom Sanford, and their daughter, Abby.

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