Shake Shack Launches Its Take on Korean Fried Chicken

Plus, limited-edition fries and a shake inspired by the South Korean food scene.

January 05, 2021

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

The new chicken sandwich launches are coming fast and furious. The latest fast-food chain to get in on the action? Shake Shack.

The ever-expanding purveyor of burgers, fries, hotdogs and milkshakes just announced it’s adding a new chicken sandwich to U.S. menus. And true to form, the Danny Meyer-founded chain is putting its own carefully considered twist on a classic with its new Korean-inspired chicken sandwich.

The Korean-Style Fried Chick’n Sandwich will be offered for a limited time as part of a broader array of Seoul-food Shake Shack menu items.

“Inspired by our teams’ work and travels in South Korea and the incredible food scene there, this limited-time chicken sandwich features a spicy-sweet gochujang-glazed crispy chicken breast over our white kimchi slaw and toasted sesame seeds,” Shake Shack trumpeted in an announcement.

Sounds pretty tasty. And about that white kimchi slaw? It results from a collaboration with family-run Portland, Oregon, kimchi company Choi’s Kimchi Co., which provides a key ingredient: a tangy white kimchi. Choi’s version of the fermented vegetable staple is made with Napa cabbage, daikon radish and green onion and is “handcrafted using a small-batch process that’s been handed down over generations,” according to Shake Shack.

The chicken used in the sandwich, as well as in another new menu item, Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites, is fresh, antibiotic-free white breast meat that has been slow-cooked sous vide “in a creamy buttermilk marinade” and then “dredged and breaded by hand and crisp-fried to order.”

Shake Shack’s new Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites are served with spicy-sweet gochujang mayo sauce, as are its limited-time-only crinkle-cut Korean Gochujang Fries. Gochujang — the flavorful paste made from red chili peppers, sticky rice, fermented soybeans and salt — is, of course, another staple in Korean cooking.

Shake Shack is capping off its Korean-inspired menu with a “hand-spun” Black Sugar Vanilla Shake, “featuring caramel-y, toasty black sugar mixed with vanilla frozen custard then topped with whipped cream and black sugar syrup.” The eggs used in the custard are cage-free. And the dark molasses-y black sugar in the shake is real … just like the rumble we’re probably all getting in our bellies just thinking about it.

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