This week Shake Shack started 2021 off on the right foot by revealing their Korean-Style Fried Chick’n Sandwich along with Gochujang Chicken Bites and Gochujang Fries as a limited-time offer on their menu. The sandwich has been in the works for the last couple of years and after debuting in South Korean Shake Shack stores, has made its way internationally back to the States.
The Gochujang-glazed crispy chicken sandwich was so beloved in South Korean Shake Shack stores that the company wanted to test it out in the states. Gochujang, a Korean staple, is a red chili paste made with glutinous rice and meju powder. The Shake Shack team stated that they “worked closely with culinary partners in South Korea to develop a version that remained true to what we serve in South Korea”. They also partnered with Chong Choi, the Korea-born founder of Choi’s Kimchi Company in Portland, OR, to put together a custom blend of kimchi slaw for the sandwiches.
Shake Shack’s Korean-inspired Menu Items
Korean-Style Fried Chick’n Sandwich- features a spicy-sweet Gochujang-glazed crispy chicken breast over a white kimchi slaw featuring Choi’s Kimchi and toasted sesame seeds in their classic bun
Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites- crispy, whole white meat chicken bites served with a side of spicy-sweet Gochujang mayo dipping sauce (served 6 pcs or 10 pcs)
Korean Gochujang Fries- Shake Shack’s classic crispy crinkle-cut fries served with a side of spicy-sweet Gochujang mayo dipping sauce
To pair with the rest of the meal, a Black Sugar Vanilla Shake is also available. This shake is a sweet, caramel-y flavor of thick black sugar hand-spun with vanilla frozen custard, topped with whipped cream and black sugar syrup.
After trying all of the menu items, my personal favorite was the Gochujang-glazed chicken sandwich. It was full of sweet and tangy flavors in the chicken combined with the textured kimchi slaw.
The chicken bites and fries were delicious but did not stand out to me as a “Korean-style meal”, as they were Shake Shack’s same classic chicken bites and fries just served with a gochujang dipping sauce on the side. I would have loved to see more elaborate menu sides with Korean-inspired toppings rather than just a dipping sauce (and I will always be biased towards my halmoni’s (할모니 – grandmother) homemade gochujang!).
The Black Sugar Vanilla Shake was also a great pair to the meal, but is definitely a sugar bomb and might be overwhelmingly sweet for someone without a sweet tooth!
Shake Shack is based in NYC and has expanded to 208 stores nationwide, all currently serving these limited-edition Korean-style menu offers. It hasn’t been said how long these menu items will be available, so be sure to get yours before they are gone! Order online for pick-up from your local Shake Shack for contactless pick-up here.
Final thoughts on Shake Shack Korean-Style Chick’n
I’m a long-time Shake Shack fan and for any burger or chicken sandwich lovers out there I would definitely recommend trying out this new sandwich while you still can! I hope to see more Korean and other internationally-inspired menu options in American restaurants in the upcoming year. Overall, being Korean-American I applaud this initiative to introduce a taste of Korea into such an American-favorite classic burger chain and I will definitely be going back for another sandwich before it disappears from the menu!
xo, J (송경애)
To make your own Korean fried chicken at home, check out our Best of Korea recipe here.
Julianna Song is a content creator and contributing writer for Best of Korea. She discovered her passion for Korean culture during a recent immersion program in Korea and hopes to return one day to work in the film and television industry.