While increasing numbers of researchers are targeting ethnic minorities in order to address their health disparities, the unique health needs of Korean Americans are not well known to the mainstream community, and only relatively few systematic research studies have been conducted in this "hard-to reach" population. The purpose of this paper is to describe the barriers to recruiting participants for health promotion research and to identify facilitators in the community that can contribute to this effort. We have analyzed data pertaining to the 14 studies we have conducted since 1998, which included a total sample of about 2,400 Korean Americans. We describe in detail the unique recruitment challenges that we have faced in regard to the culture, language, sociodemographic characteristics of the participants, such as gender and age, and other community level barriers. Multiple strategies at different levels (individual and community) to address these issues are discussed.