Mulitas is a Mexican dish and usually consists of crispy tortillas loaded with melted cheese, toppins, and a flavorful carne asada all sandwiched together.
Mulitas have become increasingly popular in Los Angeles, and you’ll often find them on the menu at many taco trucks and Mexican restaurants. However, if you love Mexican food as much as me then you might be curious to know how to make mulitas at home.
In this article, I will provide you with a guide on how to make carne asada mulitas, so next time you’re craving Mexican food you’re covered!
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is a mulita?
Mulitas aren't quite tacos or quesadillas but lie somewhere in between. They are a Mexican dish made with two layers of tortillas with tender meat on the inside. They're loaded with gooey melted cheese and a flavorful carne asada that is mouth-wateringly tasty.
Mulitas vs. quesadilla - The difference
A quesadilla is a type of Mexican taco, usually consisting of a flour tortilla filled with cheese, beans, and meats.
On the other hand, a Mulita uses two tortillas and is essentially a double-decker quesadilla. One of the tortillas sits on the top and one on the bottom, with meat and a variety of other fillings sandwiched between them in the middle. These toppings often include smashed avocado, freshly chopped tomatoes, and cilantro. It is also worth mentioning that for the most part, corn tortillas are used in mulitas instead of flour tortillas.
Ingredients that you’ll need
- Flank or skirt steak - These types of steaks are the most popular when it comes to stir-frying. When cooked, they are both lean and tender simultaneously.
- Salt and pepper - Like most savory meat recipes, salt and pepper are crucial for giving the steak a good seasoning and providing a base for the flavor profile!
- Olive oil - You’ll need olive oil for the marinade, for stir-frying, and for brushing the tortillas to ensure that they’re extra crispy!
- Cider vinegar - As an important ingredient of the marinade, cider vinegar helps to flavor and tenderize the steak.
- Soy sauce - Soy sauce also helps to tenderize the steak while adding more flavor.
- Sugar - Sugar provides some sweetness and rounds the flavor to the marinade.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic provides a delicious flavor.
- Ground cumin - As a staple spice in classic Mexican cooking, cumin packs a punch and adds more flavor to this dish!
- Tortillas - For this dish, 6-inch tortillas tend to work the best. Both corn and flour tortillas work for this recipe so which you use comes down to your preference. You can use store-bought tortillas or alternatively you can make your own at home.
- Monterey Jack cheese - Shredded or grated Monterey Jack cheese works best for this recipe. Alternatively, you can use Mexican cheese or Cheddar cheese if you are in a bind without Monterey Jack cheese.
- Avocado, cilantro, and onion - These fresh ingredients bring another layer of texture and provide freshness to the mulitas. You can also try adding diced tomatoes, guacamole, and bell pepper if you’d prefer.
A guide on how to make mulitas
- 1 1/2 lbs flank steak (or skirt steak).
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- 1/3 cup of olive oil.
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced.
- 10 to tortillas (corn or flour, 6-inch).
- 1/2 cup sliced onion.
- 1-2 avocados, mashed.
- 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes.
- 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Begin by slicing the steak into thin strips, making sure that you are cutting the steak against the grain.
- Next, you’re going to need to make the marinade. Grab a large bowl and place the olive oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, cumin, and minced garlic and whisk together until the mixture is well-combined.
- Once you have made the marinade, it’s time to place the sliced steak in the bowl. Get your hands in there and make sure that you coat the steak slices thoroughly with the marinade. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Next, it’s time to make the carne asada. Begin by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Once hot, take the steak out of the marinade and add to the skillet. Discard the marinade and stir-fry the steak for about 5 minutes or until it is cooked through.
- Once you have cooked the steak through, it’s time to assemble the mulitas. Begin by brushing the tortillas with oil on both sides. Place one tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese evenly on top of the tortilla, and then add an even layer of carne asada and sliced onions. Add more cheese, and then place another tortilla on top (as if you were making a grilled cheese sandwich).
- Cook the bottom for about 1-2 minutes or until it is golden brown, and then carefully turn the mulita over and to the opposite side and continue to cook until golden brown. Remove the cooked mulita from the skillet and add it to a clean plate before adding your toppings.
- Next, it’s time to add your toppings. Gently peel the top tortilla open and add the toppings of your choice, including mashed avocado, diced tomatoes, and cilantro.
- Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas, cheese, and filling until you have made all of the mulitas.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tips when making carne asada mulitas
- When it comes to choosing your steak, it’s important to know that flank steak or skirt steak works best for this recipe. If you choose to use the central cuts of beef such as rib-eye or sirloin steak, you can skip the marinating process.
- Always make sure that you cut the steak into thin slices and that you do so against the grain.
- The key to tender meat is to marinate it before cooking it! Marinating your meat for a few hours before you intend to cook it helps to make it tender and maximize the flavor!
Where is the best place to get mulitas in Los Angeles?
The answer to this question is largely subjective, as everyone has their own favorites and preferences.
That being said, there are a wide variety of taco trucks and restaurants that are popular all over Los Angeles. Some of the most popular choices include:
- Tacos Tamix.
- Tacos El Korita.
- Tire Shop Taqueria.
- Taco Zone.
- La Taquiza.
A great tip when you’re traveling to a place is to ask the locals where they like to eat. Next time you’re planning a trip to LA, ask for recommendations of the best places to get mulitas. It is likely that you’ll receive many different answers, as everyone has different tastes and preferences. That being said, asking people for their recommendations gives you more of an idea of where the best food places are.
LA is home to many tourist attractions and tourist traps, so if you want to find the best restaurants, you’ve got to ask the locals to find out where the best places to eat are. After all, the best finds are often not somewhere you’d know unless you live in the local area!
That being said, eating locally doesn’t always mean eating cheaply, so make sure that you do your research beforehand.
What is the best kind of meat for carne asada?
Traditional carne asada uses flank steak or skirt steak. The two cuts are very similar, however, skirt steak has more tough fibers than flank steak.
That being said, you will need to marinate both flank steak and skirt steak for a few hours before you attempt to cook them. If you don’t, the result will be very chewy as opposed to a beautifully tender meat.
Additionally, you will need to cut them against the grain. By cutting against the grain, you are aiming to cut through the fibers to shorten them, as opposed to cutting in the same direction that they run. This process makes it easier for you to chew through the meat since a lot of the hard work of breaking up the muscle fibers has already been done for you.
What is the best kind of cheese for making mulitas?
There is a variety of cheeses that work well when it comes to making mulitas. Which cheese you decide will largely depend on your personal preference, but how they melt and their flavor also comes into it.
Below are a few kinds of cheese that are absolutely delicious and melt well in mulitas:
- Monterey Jack cheese.
- Mozzarella cheese.
- Cheddar cheese.
- Asadero cheese.
- Colby Jack cheese.
It is likely that as you experiment more with your recipes and flavor profiles when making mulitas, you’ll find a cheese that works best for you and your tastes.