Short Rib Tacos in Lettuce Cups
As if you needed an incentive to make double or triple batch of those Ginger Soy Braised Short Ribs, let alone, incentive just to make them in the first place, here is probably the best thing you can do with braised short ribs leftovers save for re-heating the short ribs as is and eating them the exact same way for the second night in a row.

Pulled short rib tacos in lettuce cups.

We don’t have much of a recipe for these Short Rib Tacos beyond a list of all the additional components you need to assemble each taco, all of which require almost no real cooking. Butter lettuce washed and dried? Check. Sliced avocado? Check. Radishes, scallions, and toasted sesame? Check check check.

The only things that might require some “cooking” are the kimchi, gouhchujang hot sauce, and chili spice pickled radish, which don’t actually require cooking so much as you might have to do a little legwork to go and get them from an Asian market or a larger, newer, Whole Foods.

Full, detailed recipe for our Pulled Short Rib Tacos in Lettuce Cups below, with Notes and Shopping Resources following.

Need a little inspiration to get you started on some of your own tacos? Scroll down and peep the round-up of some of our favorites!


We recommend that you make and eat the Ginger Soy-Braised Short Ribs for one meal, increasing the ingredient amounts for the short ribs (not the soba) in the recipe to make sure you have leftovers. Then, either freeze the leftover short ribs to make the tacos much later, or just eat them as tacos the next day. If made with smaller leaves of lettuce, these tacos are great as appetizers, hors d’ouevres, or party food.

serves 4–6


2 cups of leftover Ginger Soy Braised Short Ribs
½ – 1 cup stock
2 heads of butter lettuce, leaves pulled, washed, and dried
1 avocado, thinly sliced
sliced radishes
sliced scallions
Korean chili spice pickled radish
rice vinegar
sugar or other sweetener
sesame oil
additional taco “toppings” ideas: queso fresco or other salty crumbly cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced onions, salsa, sriracha mayo, sour cream


Prepare the Short Ribs: In a medium pot, bring the leftover short ribs and any juices/braising liquid to a boil. Add a few tablespoons of stock to the pot if there isn’t enough liquid. It’s ok to add more rather than less, as the braising liquid will reduce into a sauce that can be drizzled overthe tacos.

Turn the heat down and simmer until short ribs are just warmed through. Turn off the heat and remove the short ribs to a plate, allow to cool, then using two forks, or your fingers, pull the short ribs apart into bite-size shreds. Save the braising liquid to use as a sauce.

Make Gohchujang “Sauce”: Thin the gohchujang with a mixture of equal parts rice vinegar and sugar, until it is the consistency of ketchup. Add a few splashes of sesame oil (use a light hand – sesame oil has a pleasant, but strong fragrance).

Assemble the Tacos: For each taco, nestle a few slices of avocado into a butter lettuce leaf. Place about 2 tablespoons of pulled short ribs into the taco. Add fresh radish and scallions. Allow each person to add their own kimchi, chili spice pickled radish, and gohchujang since these are spicy.

Re-heated short ribs will keep in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for an additional day or two. Other ingredients will keep for several days. Kimchi lasts forever.


  • LETTUCE CUPS: We used lettuce cups for our tacos because truth be told, we have fallen prey to the marketing and are now attempting to live a “lower carb” lifestyle. If we could, we would eat these with smaller “street-style” tortillas, 5 — 6-inches in diameter. Whole Foods has small, organic corn tortillas.
  • KIMCHI: We buy kimchi from a local Korean grocery store in LA’s Koreatown, H-Mart. Our favorite brand is Ocinet, and our personal preference is for “fresh” kimchi,which hasn’t yet fermented too much.
  • GOH CHU JANGGohchujang is a very thick, earthy Korean hot pepper sauce that has been fermented. It usually comes in small plastic tubs. We have no preference for brand, but do read the labels to buy one without added sugar or MSG.
  • RICE VINEGAR: We use Marukan brand organic brown rice vinegar. We have never had a problem finding it in Whole Foods Markets in Los Angeles.
  • SESAME OIL: Any brand of sesame oil works, as long as it’s toasted sesame oil, which is a very deep dark brown color, as opposed to regular unrefined sesame oil, which is a light golden color. We have several brands in our pantry, a couple of which we found at Whole Foods.
  • All produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market or Whole Foods Market.
  • GLUTEN-FREE: As written, this recipe is gluten-free. Corn tortillas are gluten-free; flour tortillas are not.


Click on any photo below to get to the recipe for a fun tacos recipe to try this weekend and have ready for Taco Tuesday next week…

by Sarah J. Gim on February 16, 2017 · 0 comments

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