Press

ZenKimchi in the Media

Articles, TV shows, and radio shows that we have made or have been featured in

ZenKimchi has been featured in and has consulted for media such as The New York Times, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Lonely Planet: Korea, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, and the Peter Greenberg Worldwide radio show. We have also written for or Plate Magazine, Yonhap News Agency, 10 Magazine, SEOUL Magazine, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea, The JoongAng Daily, The Korea Times, Walkerhill Magazine, and Korea.kr. We were voted into the Top Ten Best Blogs of 2011 by FriendsEat and one of the top ten best Korea blogs in 10 Magazine.

The Weird, Wild and, Ultimately, Sublime (New York Times, July 20, 2008)

Korea – Sweet home away from home (Korea AgraFood, July, 2008)

Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken With a Crunch (New York Times, Feb. 7, 2007)

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Dos Mas

Posted by on 4:44 pm in Featured, Mexican/Tex-Mex | 0 comments

Dos Mas

Location: Chain Cuisine: Mexican Price: $ Reservations: No Suggested Items: Burrito This little Mexican joint lets you build your own burrito. Choose your set, meat, level of spice, and extras. They assemble it and grill it. I ordered a mixed meat one, spicy, jumbo size with added beans. It looked great when it came out. First bite, though, and I found it was very Koreanized–not in a Kogi Taco Truck way but in a Lotte Department Store kebab way. My mouth was full of shredded cabbage, rice, and what I swear was Thousand Island dressing....

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Protected: Lex’s Final Night

Posted by on 4:58 pm in Diary | Enter your password to view comments.

Protected: Lex’s Final Night

Someone in the Korea Bloggers group suggested a meet up at this new pub restaurant, Little Cuba, last Friday. I haven’t had a Cuban sandwich in a decade, and I wanted to meet some new people, so I decided to show up. We all met at Sinchon Station and walked the long walk to the bar. On the way, someone said that his friend Lex was nearby and suggested he join us. I asked him, “Lex? Are we talking about the same guy?” “Yes, the one who named his kids after–” “YES! Great! I know him too.” I first...

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The Rise of the Sandwich… and Ghosts?

Posted by on 4:17 pm in Featured, Shameless Self Promotion | 0 comments

The Rise of the Sandwich… and Ghosts?

The cover story in the April issue of Groove is about the rise of sandwiches in Seoul (p. 36). Any expat here has experienced that odd creature that is the Korean sandwich. It’s where sandwich art goes to die. Ham, cheese, and strawberries. BLT with tartar sauce. Today, I saw at Paris Croissant a new fish sandwich that had a fried fish fillet, lettuce, tartar sauce, and… sweet bulgogi sauce. It’s like Korean sandwich makers get 60-80% of the sandwich just right and think, “Now, how can I totally fuck this up?” We...

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Wine Down Wednesday. April 23rd. Mario’s Kitchen in Garosu-gil.

Posted by on 3:17 pm in Featured, Special Occasions | 0 comments

Wine Down Wednesday. April 23rd. Mario’s Kitchen in Garosu-gil.

  Toast spring with the Most Interesting Crowd in Seoul™! This month we head on over to swanky Garosu-gil in south Seoul to wine and dine at Mario’s Kitchen, an American-style barbecue grill joint. As always, there will be unlimited wines and raffle prizes. Raffle prizes include: Dress Shirt (women & men) gift certificate from Well Dressed Picnic Pack of Sausages and French Delights from France Gourmet Bottle of Premium Liqueur from Big Shot Imports Tickets for the Dark Side of Seoul Tour And MORE! 532-2 Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul...

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Avengers Cancels Seoul Shoot. Moves to Japan.

Posted by on 6:01 am in News & Media | 5 comments

Avengers Cancels Seoul Shoot. Moves to Japan.

This was our April Fool’s joke for 2014 It’s over, so don’t take it seriously. After local complaints that letting “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” film in Seoul did not entitle citizens to find out plot spoilers, and after finding a dead body floating under the bridge where they were filming, director Joss Whedon has decided to pack up and move the production to Japan. “Um, this wasn’t quite what we expected,” said a slightly sheepish but annoyed Whedon, “But we look forward to working with...

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Premium Kimbap?

Posted by on 1:41 pm in Featured, Food Trend | 0 comments

Premium Kimbap?

Food trends in Seoul these days tend to center around foreign cuisine. I was happy to find that we are finding new innovations with Korean food in the humble kimbap. This one is long overdue. Kimbap is almost but not quite like a sushi maki roll but filled with meats, pickled radishes, and fresh vegetables. The choices for kimbap have been limited in most places, generally regular, cheese, canned tuna, kimchi, and beef. Sometimes you find dried anchovy kimbap. On the blogs, I’ve been recently been reading about new types of...

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Today’s Seoul Restaurant Buzz: Ramen, BBQ, and a GOOD Burger

Posted by on 12:20 pm in Featured, News & Media | 0 comments

Today’s Seoul Restaurant Buzz: Ramen, BBQ, and a GOOD Burger

Here are some of the latest posts on our Facebook group Restaurant Buzz Seoul: GOOD Burger Pop-up @Bulldogs So, British pub Bulldogs is going to do a burger pop-up. And the word on the street is excited. Looks interesting. It’ll be Friday, April 4th starting at 6 p.m. Details here. Star Chef Returns A few years ago, the restaurant foreigners and Koreans raved about was a hard-to-find bistro in non-descript Dogok-dong. The chef-owner moved to America for his daughter’s education at the height of its popularity. Well, he has now...

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SPOILER ALERT: The Avengers at Kimbap Cheonguk

Posted by on 12:49 pm in Featured, News & Media | 0 comments

SPOILER ALERT: The Avengers at Kimbap Cheonguk

“Good job, guys. Let’s just not come in tomorrow. Let’s just take a day. Have you ever tried kimbap? There’s a kimbap joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.” Seoul is going nuts over the Avengers 2 shooting that’s happening for the next few weeks. Kinda like a small town excited to have a Hollywood movie shooting there—SQUEEEE!!! Photoshops are appearing on the Facebooks.   If you can read the Korean notice below, they’re looking for extras to...

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Cheesy NYT Bulgogi Ad is Cheesy

Posted by on 2:14 pm in Featured, Korean Food Globalization | 6 comments

Cheesy NYT Bulgogi Ad is Cheesy

[HT @Virginialicious] Our favorite silly ad warriors are at it again. And they haven’t learned one thing from all their embarrassing ads from the past. Again, they think that the New York Times is the most effective place to promote Korean food. For you advertising students out there, let’s break this ad down and point out what’s so wrong with it. Benchmarking Copying the Got Milk? ad campaign Thought that headline looked familiar, huh? The Got Milk? campaign from 20 years ago was a big hit–20 years ago.  It’s...

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Critic Burns Trendy Itaewon Restaurant via Epic Email

Posted by on 10:26 pm in Featured, WTF | 3 comments

Critic Burns Trendy Itaewon Restaurant via Epic Email

Background on this. An Itaewon restaurant wanted a local magazine to review it. After eating there, the reviewer sent this email in reply. I was given permission to re-post this. Names have been redacted.  Hi XXXX, how are you?I’m writing concerning the status of the article about your restaurant. Let me preface it by saying thank you for the samples you provided and for your time. Essentially, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will not be able to write a review of your establishment for the magazine. Well, to be clear, I could...

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12 Myths About Korean Food

Posted by on 5:53 pm in Commentary, Featured | 12 comments

12 Myths About Korean Food

SPECIAL NOTE: Thanks for all the input from the ZenKimchi Facebook page and Twitter. As Korean food has gotten more popular, I read articles and recipes from international and even Korean outlets that perpetuate myths that need to be punched out of existence. Here are a few. Koreans eat a lot of meat I’ve seen this a lot in Korean restaurant reviews in America. This is because American Korean restaurants have a lot of meat, or rather, Americans order the dishes that are heavy on meat. In most Korean households, it’s a meat-lite...

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Baru Gongyang Kong 바루공양 콩

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Buffet, Featured, Korean, Restaurants, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Baru Gongyang Kong 바루공양 콩

Location: Insa-dong Cuisine: Vegetarian Buddhist temple cuisine Price: $ Reservations: No Suggested Items: Lunch buffet (Baru Gongyang Sang) The little sister to Baru Gongyang (also spelled puzzlingly “Balwoo”) is best known as a lunch stop. It’s in the Temple Stay building across from Jogyesa Temple. I used to go there regularly, but the management there was getting increasingly rude and patronizing. After a year, I decided to return. It has changed a lot. It looks like there’s a new manager. The great thing is that...

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The Controversial Foreign Restaurant Cartoon

Posted by on 7:59 pm in Commentary, Featured | 13 comments

The Controversial Foreign Restaurant Cartoon

Native Seoulite once removed Chris Lewis recently vented some observations and frustrations with this cartoon. After a few longtimers saying, “My sentiments exactly,” others chimed in that it was expat whining, condescending, oh, and liking this cartoon means that you’re a racist. Gary Patrick Norris said: “Let me give non-Seoul, not Korean people a quick explanation. There are many foreigners in Seoul living in two neighborhoods north of the river that have become expat ghettos since the war, Haebangchon and Itaewon....

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Banchan: Happy Samgyeopsal Day!

Posted by on 4:31 pm in Featured, News & Media | 0 comments

Banchan: Happy Samgyeopsal Day!

Today’s March 3rd. Those threes (sam) mean it’s Samgyeopsal Day. It’s a good day to enjoy some Korean pork belly, if it hasn’t been all bought up following the week-long smoggy gift from China. Now for the Banchan! News Congratulations to Chef Im Jung Sik and his restaurant Jung Sik Dang. They were the first Korea restaurant to win in the S. Pelligrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014. They garnered Best Restaurant in Korea and Highest New Entry Award. I take it she’s not a big fan of kimchi. Well, at least...

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Recipe: Beef Soondubu Jjigae (순두부 찌개)

Posted by on 3:45 pm in Featured, Korean Recipes | 0 comments

Recipe: Beef Soondubu Jjigae (순두부 찌개)

I’ve been fortunate enough that this current winter has thankfully been the mildest I’ve had in Korea yet. But we’re still talking negative double digit temps here on some nights so it’s no surprise I’ve been craving a lot of hearty and warm dishes for dinner lately. Soondubu jjigae, or soft tofu stew, is a fine example of Korean comfort food and perfect for winter nights. Of course, even if there isn’t an arctic blast in your air outside currently, soondubu can be enjoyed in all weathers and climates. This...

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Thugs Turn Over Street Food Carts in Gangnam

Posted by on 8:54 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

These videos popped up yesterday. I don’t know if these guys are related to the government. Something similar happened a couple of years ago in north Seoul. It could also be gangsters punishing these vendors for not playing by their rules. You can see the police don’t feel like doing anything about it. GD Star...

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Idiots of the Week

Posted by on 6:32 pm in Commentary | 2 comments

Every now and then the same old conspiracy buffs spew their oral diarrhea on the internets. I usually ignore them, but it’s getting to the point that they’re just being bullies. I loathe bullies. This time it was on the Korea Times website. They did an article about ZenKimchi’s 10-year anniversary. As expected, the winners in the KT comments section had lovely things to say. But it also proved that they don’t even read this blog. Idiot #1   Hi Dk! I see you’d rather show your dog’s face than your own....

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The Pizza Pub: Self-serve Pizza & Beer Bar

Posted by on 12:42 pm in Featured, Pizza | 0 comments

The Pizza Pub: Self-serve Pizza & Beer Bar

Location: Itaewon Cuisine: Pizza Price: $-$$ Reservations: Not necessary Suggested Items: Spicy New York  Pizza, Fried Pickles, Spicy Mango Boneless Wings DISCLAIMER: One meal was paid for by the venue. The Pizza Pub in Itaewon is a fairly new joint ventures by the folks behind The Wolfhound, Reilly’s Taphouse, and Beer O’Clock. They invited me to try out their new place, and I enjoyed it. I later returned on my own dime, and I’m still happy with it. This is a self-serve pizza pub. Basically, you get your beers, some salad...

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MUST WATCH: Seoul, Our Movie

Posted by on 1:16 pm in Featured, Video | 1 comment

MUST WATCH: Seoul, Our Movie

I’m floored. Honestly, I was skeptical at first when this project was announced. The government was asking people to send in their videos to be assembled into a movie promoting Seoul. I had witnessed so many cheesy heavyhanded endeavors by the government promotional teams over the years. I was expecting sterilized videos highlighting the same old chest-beating culturally masturbatory pabulum that we have seen before. BUT… This was done by powerhouse directors Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) and Park Chan-kyong (Anyangae). This was not as...

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10 Years of ZenKimchi

Posted by on 4:34 pm in Announcements, Featured | 0 comments

10 Years of ZenKimchi

“Well, I just got to Denver.” That was the first line of what would become ZenKimchi on February 5th, 2004. It was a mass email to family that I had arrived at my dad’s house in Denver from Atlanta, letting them know I was safe. The next email, “Made It,” described my flight and my first couple of days in Korea. I haven’t read this in years. Who was that person? I wish I could recapture that feeling where everything is intense, fresh, and new–like when you first fall in love. Reading a few more...

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Bon Appetit: Eric Ripert Eats His Way Through South Korea

Posted by on 2:28 am in Featured | 0 comments

Bon Appetit: Eric Ripert Eats His Way Through South Korea

You may remember me all giddy about hanging out with Eric Ripert in Seoul. The article written by Matt Rodbard, with exquisite pictures by Sam Horine, was just published. Read it here. GD Star...

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Goals. 2013. 2014.

Posted by on 9:42 pm in Diary | 0 comments

Another year. But not just another year. February 6, 2014 will mark my tenth Koreaversary. 10 years in Korea! Ten years ago from right now, I had just gotten my passport. I had scrambled to get the paper version of my diploma, for which I had to pay a long overdue parking fine. I was living with my mom in Fairhope, getting ready for the transition. A mini-series/pilot for a revival of Battlestar Galactica had me hooked to the TV. I had almost no money left. I was running to Atlanta to get my visa papers done at the Korean embassy for my first...

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2014 Korean Food Predictions

Posted by on 5:09 am in Commentary, Featured | 3 comments

2014 Korean Food Predictions

Well, that was a year, huh? Things are going seriously well in the world of Korean cuisine. Restaurants like Hanjan, Jung Sik, and Danji are getting more accolades and praise. Hanjan made it into The New York Times’ top ten restaurants in the Big Apple. Danji maintained its Michelin star while Jung Sik received two. The Seoul food scene exploded and became a world contender. When everyone else was figuring out what to make of the Cronut craze in Manhattan, Seoul was the first international city to make versions of it. The beer market...

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Burgers From Mother’s Office in Noksapyeong

Posted by on 3:37 am in Featured, Worldwide | 0 comments

Burgers From Mother’s Office in Noksapyeong

I can’t tell you how much I love a good burger and fries. It’s my ultimate favorite “unhealthy” food and something I would undoubtedly include in my last meal list if I had the option.   So you can imagine just how excited I was to see a new burger joint opening up in my neighborhood but I was stunned when I saw its name. Mother’s Office.  Not only a blatant rip-off in name but concept as well of my beloved Father’s Office (F.O.) in LA,  my initial reaction was probably along the lines of how I reacted...

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Cheogajip: North Korean Restaurant Featured in The Washington Post

Posted by on 3:10 am in Featured, In the Press, Newsletter, Press, Worldwide | 3 comments

Cheogajip: North Korean Restaurant Featured in The Washington Post

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema posted his culinary highlights of 2013. Included was a lunch we had at the humble but divine Cheogajip. I credit Jennifer Flinn for telling me about this place. It’s really off the radar. As the article says, it’s basically run out of this North Korean family’s house near Yaksu Station, a little east of Itaewon. There’s not really a sign out front. Just a small menu posted on the gate. You have to know what you’re looking for to find it. The menu consists of five things:...

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Douceurs au miel et aux epices, recettes medicinales coreennes

Posted by on 2:35 am in Featured, Korean Recipes, Recipes | 0 comments

Douceurs au miel et aux epices, recettes medicinales coreennes

Dans la tradition de la cuisine coréenne, ou la cuisine asiatique en générale, le terme « dessert » n’existe pas… cependant, il ne manque pas de recette sucrée ! En les découvrant, nous pouvons voir une autre utilisation du sucre se mêlant avec du sel et des ingrédients inhabituels, comme par exemple, le haricot azuki (pat) ou le soja qui sont désormais bien connus. Yaksik traditionel Alors, deux mets sucrées coréennes sont les belles du jour à découverir : Baesuk (poire pochée) et Yaksik (gâteau de riz aux épices). Le Baesuk, poire...

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ON TV: ZenKimchi on “Chef on the Road”

Posted by on 8:03 am in Featured, In the Press, Shameless Self Promotion | 0 comments

ON TV: ZenKimchi on “Chef on the Road”

I’m a little late reporting this. THAT’S HOW BUSY I’VE BEEN HERE!! Channel: National Geographic Channel Show: “Chef on the Road” Host: Chef Ryan Clift (Tippling Club, Singapore) THE PLOT Award-winning chef Ryan Clift has five days to learn what he can about Korean cuisine and come up with a Korean dinner for Korean food experts. We were fixers for this episode. Veronica (ZenKimchi’s partner from Plan El) and I were along for the ride on screen. Also appearing are Joyce Kong (Knifing Forking Spooning) and...

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Salade a la dorade crue sauce coreenne

Posted by on 8:00 am in Modern Korean | 0 comments

Salade a la dorade crue sauce coreenne

Cela fait un moment que l’Occident a découvert les mets de poisson cru. Depuis, nous avons vu tant de restaurants de sushi et cela proposant tous à peu près les mêmes choses. N’est-ce pas maintenant qu’il est temps de changer et varier le plaisir de cet ingrédients ? Le pays voisin du Japon, en Corée aussi, le poisson cru, appelé “hoe“, est un  mets très recherché, mais, différemment. Dans la péninsule, on préfère relever la sauce avec le piment au lieu du wasabi. C’est la pâte de piment fermenté, gochujang...

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Nonhyeon-dong Style: “Hopscotch” Gastro Pub

Posted by on 7:18 am in Gastropub | 1 comment

Nonhyeon-dong Style: “Hopscotch” Gastro Pub

[slider] Photos by Bryan Do and Joe McPherson Long before Psy warbled about it, Gangnam was Korea’s capital of cool, but hipsters with taste (are there any…?) may now be heading for the neighboring hood of Nonhyeon-dong. Here, their destination is a spot called “Hopscotch.” Hopscotch bills itself as a “gastro pub” but is cooler than even Gangnam’s most upscale boozers. How so? Well to begin with, there is no sign outside: You have to be part of the in-crowd just to know where it is. (And luckily for you, gentle reader, you are now part of...

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Fried Seasoned Zucchini (호박볶음 hobak bokkeum)

Posted by on 4:14 am in Korean Recipes | 0 comments

Fried Seasoned Zucchini (호박볶음 hobak bokkeum)

Zucchini are coming into season in California now, and I received a medium-sized one in my community-supported agriculture package last week. I could have again made 호박전 hobak jeon (zucchini pancake), which is always tasty. Another option was 궁중 떡볶이 gungjung tteokbokki, the royal ancestor of the spicy, warm 떡볶이 tteokbokki (rice cake stew). Yet hobak bokkeum is a simple dish and once you make it, you can either serve it on the spot in banchan form, or you can set it aside and put it into your bibimbap. The zucchini I used here was a little fat...

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