Author: ZenKimchi

Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canadan, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan. Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide. He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.

Share This Post On
  • http://wiki.galbijim.com/Main_Page mithridates

    Well, this is a surprise, congrats. Now if only I was interested in food (I eat maybe twice a day and a litre of milk is breakfast).

  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi

    Jun, Rachel, Anon, Mark, Mith, and Sue… Thank you so much. It feels like my birthday today (which is Feb. 27th, if anyone is curious).

    Rachel, I don’t think Julia, the writer of the story, knew my Southern or fried chicken background when she called me. You could hear the lights flashing in her head when I told her.

    Funny how that works!

    Sue, NAVER?? Man, I was hoping to get some Naverites here to tell me I knew nothing (which I already knew). Seriously, I hope the article did more to enhance Korea’s image in the culinary world.

  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi

    Tuscon Anon,

    If I was back in the States, I would be working right away to start a Korean chicken joint. That would catch on so quickly there–the same as Krispy Kreme caught on here (another prediction of mine).

  • Anonymous

    And wonderfully so! Congrats on the good press – well deserved! Kudos, Joe

  • mark


  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi

    Protected Static,

    I’ve been able to mimic the Two-Two flavors and the sauce. I’ll make it again and post the recipe.

  • http://mykoreankitchen.com sue

    Congratulations! I also read a brief Korean version of it on Naver too. Though it only mentioned your name without your blog URL, but most importantly you are on the front page of New York Times. Well done :)

  • Anonymous

    Saw your blog through the NYT link. Congrats! I’m stuck in Tucson, Arizona, which has great Mexican food and that’s it has made me incredibly homesick for something spicy and fried, like Cajun, Korean, anything…. Your blog is great. Thanks for writing it. Now, if Another Flying Chicken wants to open an outpost, I’d be heading the line every day.

  • Gdog

    Nice article, you’ve hit the big time, Joe! Just a tidbit for the other readers, I was also contacted for an interview but she never called me. Oh well, let’s give it up to ZenKimchi!

  • http://www.protectedstatic.com/ protected static

    While there’s a sizeable Korean community here in the Seattle area, I don’t think that there’re any Korean-style fried chicken joints – so my big disappointment is the lack of any recipes to go with the article. The combination of spicy fried chicken, pickles, and soju sounds quite delicious…

  • Cho-Yau
  • jerry
  • Anonymous

    or cho-yau:
    Bon-chon chiken (3 found)

    mahattan 32 shop 212-221-2222
    314 5th Ave 2nd Floor. New York.

    manhattan tribeca shop 212-227-2375
    98 chamber ST. NEW YORK

    Flushing shop 718-321-3818
    157-18 northern Blvd. Flushing NY

    For Jerry:
    71-22 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights

  • http://seoullife.net Cat

    Hey, Joe!

    Congrats! The story is awesome! Did the reporter say she read your earlier post about fried chicken? I think you did a better job of explaining how they cook it, actually.
    Great work.

  • http://www.protectedstatic.com/ protected static

    Ooh, that would be great! Thanks!

  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi

    Hanna, wow, thanks for the ego boost. I’ll try to let it get to my head.

  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi


    So true. As crazy as Korea can get, it gets in your blood. It’s like taking a bath in ice water. Wakes you up.

  • Hanna

    hello—i’m a totally random stranger who happened to click on the newyorktimes article for your zenkimchi website. i’m very impressed by your descriptions, pictures, and enthusiasm for food. more than just the typical blathering about a person’s day, you really did a good job of incorporating a western’s introduction to korea with its most familiar cultural ambassador, native food.

  • http://zenkimchi.com/ ZenKimchi

    I always thought “odeng” sounded Japanese. Eun Jeong always says “오댕.” I’ll go change that. Thanks.

  • Julia

    Yay Joe! I’ve posted the link to the NYT article all over MySpace and am showing it off at work today. I’m so proud of you! My celebrity brother!

  • pepero

    so glad I read the NYTimes :) I’m a recovering English teacher (2 years in seoul) living in Canada again, and man do I miss the food! I’m happy to find a blog where I can reminisce and talk with other dokbokki aficionados. mm, dokbokki… I miss drunken to-se-te consumption at three in the morning..

  • Se-Won

    You should write Eomook(어묵) instead of odeng(오뎅) because it’s japaneese language. ^^;

  • http://maryeats.com/ maryeats

    joe AMAZING! I am so happy for you. Finally, a little bit of the Korean bloggers in the big world of food blogging celebrity!w

  • Dan
  • Dan

    A different kind of chicken


    Thursday, Feb 15, 2007,Page 17

    A South Korean restaurant owner prepares chickens for sale in Seoul, Jan. 20, 2007.
    2007年1月20日,南韓首爾一名餐廳老闆準備販賣雞肉。 (照片:美聯社)

    When Joe McPherson moved to Seoul in 2002, he thought he was leaving fried chicken behind.

    “Living in the southern US, you think you know fried chicken,” he said. But in Seoul, he said, “there is a mom-and-pop chicken place literally on every corner.” Many Asian cooking traditions include deep-fried chicken, but the popular cult of crunchy, spicy, perfectly nongreasy chicken — the apotheosis of the Korean style — is a recent development.

    Platters of fried chicken are a hugely popular bar food in South Korea — like chicken wings in the US, they are downed with beer or soju, after work or after dinner, rarely eaten as a meal.

    “Some places have a very thin, crisp skin; some places have more garlicky, sticky sauces; some advertise that they are healthy because they fry in 100 percent olive oil,” said McPherson, an English teacher, who writes a food blog called zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal.

    “Suddenly there will be a long line outside one chicken place, for no apparent reason, and then the next week, it’s somewhere else.”

    For crunch, American-style fried chicken relies on a thick, well-seasoned crust, often made even thicker by soaking the chicken pieces beforehand in buttermilk.

    Korean-style fried chicken is radically different, reflecting an Asian frying technique that renders out the fat in the skin, transforming it into a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust. (Chinese cooks call this “paper fried chicken.”) The chicken is unseasoned, barely dipped in very fine flour and then dipped into a thin batter before going into the fryer. It is only seasoned after frying.

    Korean-style fried chicken restaurants are springing up throughout the US.

    (NY Times Services)









  • Jun

    On a separate note…the NYT reports Red Mango-style frozen yogurt in California.

    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/dining/21pink.html

  • Pingback: Screwed by Google Adsense — ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal()

Pop-up Restaurant This Weekend




Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide

Restaurant Guide CoverGet the Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide. Over 400 restaurants reviewed by people who know Seoul. Don’t have Kindle? Get the Kindle app and try it.

5.0 out of 5 stars A sorely needed guide to some of the best, not quite the best and best avoided restaurants …” Paul Matthews

“5.0 out of 5 stars Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide is a treasure map to good eats.” Stephen Redeker

Included are nifty features such as the following:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates on the world of Korean food.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

ZenKimchi is Stephen Fry proof thanks to caching by WP Super Cache

[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_4"]