Bex’s Sopes de Carne Asada with 3 Salsas & Lime Crema

sopes carne asada

These handsome sopes with grilled carne asada and three salsas—red with guajillos and anchos; green with serranos, Anaheims and poblanos; and red with roasted tomatoes and chile de árbol—are designed to impress. They are the result of a weekend of cooking at its most delicioso for one of our favorite Mexican-food home cooks, Bex Streeper.

Bex made these sopes as a special treat for her mother-in-law, whom she adores. “Yonnie has never had sopes,” she says. So on a recent Sunday, she made these carne asada treats from scratch and took her suegra on ”an aventura to deliciousness.”

“I enjoy taking mi familia on a viaje to México,” says Bex, who is half Puerto Rican and married into a Mexican family. Many of her recipes represent the best of both familia food traditions. 

What Are Sopes?

A sope is a chunky tortilla with a raised edge. Each one is round and about ½-inch thick, looking like a masa small plate that curves up. Sopes are typically fried: making them crisp and textured on the outside, fresh and soft inside. (You can also bake them: put your sopes in a 400° oven for about 5 minutes, until they lightly brown and stiffen.)

Sopes are yet one more masa delivery system for your favorite Mexican dishes and ingredients. In this case: carne asada, two types of red salsa, one green salsa, refried beans (make from scratch or open a can—your choice: no judgment). Top with your choice of traditional garnishes, like: crumbled queso fresco, minced white onion, cilantro, finely shredded cabbage, thin-sliced radishes, and avocado.

Our cocinera Bex calls for using adding an extra zing with “lime-kissed crema.” She mixes lime zest and freshly squeezed lime juice to tangy Mexican crema, serving up a flavor profile we pretty much live for here at Familia Kitchen.

You can buy sopes premade in packages of 10 at your local Mexican grocery and all you have to do is fry or bake them. Or you can make them from scratch, as Bex does, with masa harina—the same nixtamalized corn flour used for tortillas—and a little water, salt and oil.

A Recipe with 7 Layers of Delicioso

The recipe below looks long—don’t let that scare you. It just includes a lot of simple elements: sopes, grilled onions, salsas, garnishes. Here is the CliffNotes version:

How to Build Bex’s Carne Asada Sopes

  1. Make the sopes from scratch or buy them premade from your local Latino market.
  2. Spread a spoonful of refried beans, find the recipe here or open a can.
  3. Add the grilled carne asada, recipe follows
  4. Layer with your choice of salsas: one, two or all three. Up to you! Your tres options are: red salsa with guajillos and anchos, recipe follows; salsa verde with serranos, Anaheims and poblanos, recipe follows; and red salsa with roasted tomato and chile de árbol salsa, recipe follows.
  5. Drizzle with lime crema, recipe follows.
  6. Garnish as you please. Bex calls for crumbled queso fresco and fresh cilantro (though we will probably add finely shredded cabbage, a hint of minced onion, and a thin slice or two of avocado).
  7. Serve with grilled green onions and bowls of all three salsas. We also recommend drinking the remainder of the beer used in your marinade. Because: cold Mexican beer and carne asada are best friends.

For more of Bex’s family-famous Mexican recipes, try her shrimp ceviche, pico de gallo and guacamole.

Ready to Make Bex’s Sopes with Three Salsas?

Bex’s Sopes de Carne Asada  with 3 Salsas & Lime Crema

Recipe by Bex Streeper Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Sopes
  • 2 cups 2 masa harina

  • 2 cups 2 warm water

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 vegetable oil

  • For the Carne Asada
  • 2 lbs 2 skirt steak

  • 4 4 fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 beer (we like to use Mexican beer)

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic

  • 1 tsp 1 salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper, or to taste

  • For the Grilled Green Onions
  • 1 bunch 1 Mexican green onions

  • 1 Tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 tsp 1 kosher salt

  • For Salsa 1—Salsa Roja with Guajillos & Anchos
  • 4 4 dried guajillo chiles

  • 2 2 dried ancho chiles

  • water, to cover

  • 1 1 onion, quartered

  • 1 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cumin

  • 8 8 allspice berries

  • 1 1 bay leaf

  • black peppercorns

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic

  • 1 tsp 1 salt, or to taste

  • 2 Tbsp 2 vegetable oil

  • For Salsa 2—Salsa Verde with Serranos, Anaheims & Poblanos
  • 1 lb 1 tomatillos

  • 1 1 white onion, medium, quartered

  • 2 2 serranos or jalapeños, stemmed and seeded, to your taste

  • 1 1 Anaheim chile, stemmed and seeded, to your taste

  • 1 1 poblano chile, stemmed and seeded, to your taste

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic

  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 oregano

  • 1 tsp 1 cumin

  • 12 sprigs 12 cilantro

  • 2 Tbsp 2 vegetable oil

  • 1/2 1/2 salt, or to taste, to add to final simmering salsa

  • For Salsa 3—Salsa Ropa with Roasted Tomato and Chile de Árbol
  • 1 lb 1 plum or Roma tomatoes, about 4

  • 3 to 6 3 to 6 chiles de árbol, stemmed and seeded, to your taste

  • 2 Tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic, crushed

  • 1 1 white onion, medium, quartered

  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper, freshly ground

  • For the Lime-Kissed Mexican Crema
  • 3 Tbsp 3 Mexican crema fresca

  • 1 1 lime, zested

  • 1 1 lime, juiced (the same lime you zested)

  • Prep the Garnishes
  • 1 cup 1 queso fresco, shredded

  • 1 cup 1 cilantro, sprigs or minced

  • 1 cup 1 white onion, minced, optional

  • 1 cup 1 cabbage, finely shredded, optional

  • 1 cup 1 avocado, thin sliced or diced, optional


  • Make the Sopes (or Skip This Step and Buy From the Store: Up to You)
  • Preheat the oven to 200° F.
  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, place the masa harina. Slowly, work in the water with your hands. Knead until you have a uniform dough, about 5 minutes. It should feel like soft, moist clay. If it feels dry, add a little more warm water. If it’s sticky, add a little more masa harina.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. One at a time, pat or roll each into a circle about five inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Brush a little of the vegetable oil on a skillet or comal and heat it over medium-high heat until it’s good and hot.
  • Carefully add the first sope and cook it until little brown blisters appear on the bottom, about 45 seconds. Flip it over with a spatula and cook for another 30 to 45 seconds. Flip it over again, count to 10 and transfer to the towel-lined baking sheet.
  • Lay the sope on a sheet tray and place in the warm oven. Repeat with the remaining sopes, keeping them all in the oven until you’re ready to shape them.
  • When they are all ready, take them out and place on a work surface. Shape each sope by pinching its sides to form a little edge on along the border, all the way around.
  • Bex likes to make some sopes that are “sauced” or dipped into salsa. The others are left plain. Set aside the amount you want to keep plain. For the sauced sopes, dip them one by one in the first red sauce with guajillos and anchos, turning to coat completely.
  • Heat the corn oil in a large pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sopes, flipping frequently, until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Drain the golden-fried sopes on a sheet tray lined with paper towels and return to the oven, to keep warm.
  • Make Your Carne Asada & Grilled Onions
  • Marinate the meat. Mix the fresh orange juice, lime juice, beer, minced garlic and salt with a zip bag.
  • Trim the meat of any excess membrane. Place the skirt steak in the zip bag with the marinade. Shake it well and let marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Prep the green onions. Wash them. Do not remove their long green stems.
  • Prep the grill. reheat the grill to high and bring the meat to room temperature.
  • Brush or drizzle the olive oil on the onions, toss with salt and set aside on a plate.
  • When the grill is nice and hot, grill the meat for about 7 or 8 minutes on each side.
  • Place the onions alongside the carne and grill until charred—but not burnt. (It’s a fine line, keep an eye on them). When lightly blackened in some but not all parts, set the onions aside on a plate, while waiting for the carne asada to grill.
  • When both sides of the carne are golden browned, remove and place on a plate to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Slice against the grain into thin strips or bite-size chunks when ready to build your sopes.
  • Make Salsa 1— Red Salsa with Guajillos & Anchos
  • Rinse, stem and seed the chiles.
  • Toast the chiles in a hot pan—preferably cast iron, set to medium high—for about 5 minutes.
  • If not already using a sauce pan, transfer the toasted chiles to a sauce plan and add water to cover, plus the salt, onions and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once the water boils, remove the pot from the heat. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
  • Transfer the chile mixture with its cooking liquid to a blender. Add the garlic and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Pour the blended salsa back into the pan.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Set aside until you are ready to build the sopes.
  • Make Salsa 2—Salsa Green Salsa with Serranos, Anaheims & Poblanos
  • Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the sticky residue.
  • Peel and quarter the onion. Toss the tomatillos, onion and chiles in the olive oil and salt. Place the tomatillos, onion and chiles in a cast iron or oven-proof pan and roast for 10 minutes, Alternately, heat on medium-high in a cast iron pan on the stovetop. When they are nicely roasted and browned in spots, remove from the pan and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled, remove the skin from chiles.
  • In a blender, place the browned tomatillos, onion and chiles. Add the garlic, cilantro, oregano, and any pan juices. Pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • In a large cast-iron pot or saucepan on the stove, heat the vegetable oil.
  • Pour the blended salsa back into the pot with the hot cooking oil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Place in a bowl and let cool.
  • Make Salsa 3—Red Salsa with Roasted Tomato and Chile de Árbol:
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high setting.
  • Brush or toss the onions and tomatoes with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Put the onions on a grill pan and grill, shaking every so often, until both sides are charred, about 7 minutes.
  • Grill the tomatoes until they are nicely charred, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove the onions and tomatoes from the grill and onto a plate. Let cool.
  • Peel the tomatoes and remove their cores. Reserve their juice in a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes, and add to the bowl.
  • Toast the árbol chiles, flipping them occasionally, until they just begin to smoke, about 5 minutes. Set them aside in a different bowl.
  • Place the toasted chiles, onions, garlic, tomatoes and 2 cups of water to a blender. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Run the blended salsa through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
  • Make Your Lime Crema
  • Thin the crema with lime juice. Add the lime zest and stir.
  • Place the lime crema in a bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to make your sopes.
  • Putting It All Together: Build Your Carne Asada Sopes
  • Serve each person two sopes on a plate. Three if they are starving! .
  • Spread a thin layer of refried beans.
  • Add a large spoonful or two of carne asada pieces.
  • Add the salsa of your choice—or combine a drizzling of two or three.
  • Time to garnish. Sprinkle finely shredded cabbage and minced white onion, if you wish. Drizzle a spoonful or two of the lime crema. Add a sprinkling of queso fresco. Top off with a cilantro, either a full sprig or minced flecks. Serve alongside all the three salsas at the table. Enjoy!


  • You can store the salsas in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to about 5 days, or in the freezer for about a month.
Bex’s start-to-finish process of making sopes with carne asada and three salsas for her mother in law, Yonnie—whom she adores. (We can tell!)

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