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Tacos Arabes

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Yield 8 tacos + 2 ½ cups salsa
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Iraqi, Mexican


Marinated pork tacos inspired by the flavors of Iraqi and Mexican cuisine. Think shawarma meets taco in this flavor-packed meal.


Marinated Pork

  • 3 limes
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, dried marjoram or regular dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Morton kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 boneless pork shoulder steaks, 1/2-inch thick (12–16 ounces each)
  • ½ large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

Chipotle Tomato Salsa

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • ½ large white onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peel intact
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano


  • Thinly sliced English cucumber or mini cucumbers
  • Mined white onion
  • Lime wedges
  • 16 Frescados taco flour tortillas


Marinated Pork

  • Zest 2 limes and juice all 3 limes. In a large bowl, stir together ⅓ cup lime juice, 2 teaspoons lime zest, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss the pork and onion in the lime marinade until completely coated. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. (This is a good time to make the salsa.)
    raw pork in a baking dish with onions, bay leaves and spices
  • Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat for about 2 minutes, or until very hot. Cook the scallions in the dry pan until charred on both sides, 3–5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
    charred scallions in a cast iron skillet
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in hot skillet over high heat, add half of pork, and cook until pork is charred bottom side, about 3 minutes. Flip pork, add half of onion mixture and half of marinade, and continue cooking until browned on second side, about 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pork and onion to a large plate and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, pork, and onion mixture. Let cooked pork rest 10 minutes.
    cooked pork in a cast-iron skillet with onions and garlic

Chipotle Tomato Salsa

  • Preheat broiler with rack set in upper-middle position. Arrange tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet; broil until charred all over, 10-15 minutes. (*remove garlic cloves if they start to burn at all.)
    charred tomatoes, onion, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet
  • Transfer charred vegetables, cilantro, chipotle, adodo, honey, coriander seeds, oregano and ½ teaspoon salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until minced, about 15 (1-second) pulses.
    salsa in a food processor
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemle

  • Just before serving, chop scallions and very thinly slice pork. Toss scallions, pork and cooked onion mixture together. Serve pork mixture in double-layer flour tortillas with chipotle salsa, cucumber, onion, and lime wedges for squeezing.


Recipe Notes: Adapted from a recipe by Rick Martinez in his book Mi Cocina.


Serving: 1tacoCalories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 19gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 1085mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 2.5g
Keywords tacos arabes
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