On Tuesday, Shake Shack launched a Korean-inspired menu, which includes Korean-Style Fried Chick’n sandwich. Selling for $7.19 each, the new sandwich features a spicy-sweet, gochujang-glazed crispy chicken breast over white kimchi slaw and topped with toasted sesame seeds.
For those who are not familiar, gochujang is a red fermented paste popular in Korean cooking. The savory, sweet, and spicy condiment is made with red chili peppers, sticky rice, soybeans, and salt, and is used as an anchor in all kinds of stews, marinades, sauces, and the like.
To make the chicken sandwich’s white kimchi slaw, Shake Shack partnered with Choi’s Kimchi Co., a family-run kimchi business based in Portland, Oregon. Choi’s kimchi is made from salted, seasoned, and fermented veggies ― including Napa cabbage, daikon radish, and green onion ― and is handcrafted using a small-batch process that’s been handed down over generations.
Available nationwide until April 5th, Shake Shack’s Korean-Style Fried Chick’n sandwich heats up the fast food industry’s chicken sandwich wars, which memorably peaked in late 2019 when Popeyes launched its popular chicken sandwich. Just this Monday, McDonald’s unveiled three new chicken sandwiches that will be added to its menu on February 24th.
Aside from the Korean-Style Fried Chick’n sandwich, Shake Shack’s Korean-inspired menu also includes Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites, Korean Gochujang Fries, and Black Sugar Vanilla Shake.
Made with white meat chicken, the Korean Gochujang Chick’n Bites share similar flavors with its sandwich counterpart and are served with a spicy-sweet gochujang-mayonnaise sauce. These chicken tenders come in six-piece and 10-piece orders that retail for $5.19 and $7.19, respectively.
The Korean Gochujang Fries are crispy crinkle-cut fries served with spicy-sweet gochujang mayo sauce for dipping, while the Black Sugar Vanilla Shake is made with vanilla frozen custard blended with black sugar and topped with whipped cream and black sugar syrup. The hand-spun drink, which costs $5.69 per cup, is popular in Korea, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati revealed that the restaurant’s Korean-inspired menu was inspired by the South Korean trip he and his team took back in 2015, a year before Shake Shack opened its first location there.
“We tried countless joints over the years, immersing ourselves in all of the different styles and finding what makes Seoul such a delicious and iconic city,” Rosati told CNN via email. “We have come to love the diverse flavor profile Korean fried chicken offers.”