Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Review: How Does It Taste?

Mayank Kansal

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Front View

It is a brand new year and Shake Shack is diving in strong by releasing a brand new chicken sandwich from their Korean-inspired menu. It is Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich and it is only here for a limited time! 

This is not something one of the executives at Shake Shack randomly decided to come up with on a whim, rather this has been taste tested originally in South Korea and it is finally here for the US locations to enjoy!

Visually this looks like an absolute delicacy as it offers a crispy white meat chicken breast coated in their Gochujang glaze and sesame seeds, accompanied by white Kimchi slaw, all inside a toasted potato bun.

Anytime a creative food idea is being generated or adopted from another culture, it is crucial to understand the basic ingredients and Shake Shack looks like it has this on lock.

So let us dive into how you can get your hands on one of these!

Buying Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Side View

You can order Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich through their website, Shake Shack’s mobile app, or other fast food delivery options.

I personally feel that I have had the best experiences ordering from Shake Shack in person and eating the items inside the store while they are fresh and hot.

My local Shake Shack must be one of the busiest in my city as they are always packed with customers and there are six to seven employees working just about everyday. 

The line of customers waiting never backed up as the orders are taken at a very fast pace and always repeated back to the customers for correctness. I only ordered the Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich itself and no beverages or sides so the total with tax came out to around $9.85.

There are plenty of seating options and a few TV’s as well, so the idea of waiting to dine-in does not sound too bad. The staff in the back seems to remind me of a race car pit crew with their efficiency, as my food was ready within 10 minutes of waiting. 

Let us see how our freshly made sandwich looks!

How Did Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Look Like

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich With Gochujang Glaze Inside a Potato Bun

My first impression of Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich was that it looked like a single serving of a slider. I mean it was much smaller than my fist and even the small bag it was served in made it look like there was room for another half of that “sandwich”. 

The toasted bun was very fluffy in appearance and even before lifting it, I noticed the decently thick piece of chicken breast.

The chicken looked like it was fried to perfection from the outside as there were no burned edges visible, rather it was a wonderful golden texture. 

I tilted the potato bun slightly and noticed the beautiful gochujang glaze which covered the chicken.

The reddish color of that glaze was very vibrant and the contrast between it and the white kimchi slaw in comparison to the bun looked absolutely perfect.

The slaw consisted of visible pieces of diced Napa cabbage, daikon radish, and a few green onions.

Visually it looks like a piece of art, but let us see how it actually tastes.

How Did Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Taste Like

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Half Eaten Front View

I personally felt that the very first bite for me was a bit underwhelming to be honest. In that first bite I could taste the delicious potato bun which was soft, pillowy, and toasted very nicely.

I also got a decent bite from the chicken breast, where I could taste the gochujang glaze that the chicken breast was dressed in. 

This gochujang sauce tasted slightly different from what I would normally expect as I could taste a slight garlicky and ginger taste that was infused within the glaze in that first bite. 

These fusion of flavors worked pretty decently with one another.

It is common to expect some type of medium heat that hits your palette whenever you are trying out variations of gochujang sauce, however this combination was not perfect as there was a level of sweetness that slightly overpowered the heat which is why I mentioned it tasted pretty decent. 

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Top View Of White Kimchi Slaw With Bun Lifted

There were some toasted sesame seeds on top of the chicken breast which was a great touch, as it provided a mild nutty flavor.

I have eaten many sandwiches where they use just plain sesame seeds for aesthetics or they tend to overcook them by toasting them into oblivion which results in a very bitter aftertaste. 

Everything was pretty good up to this point, but I just could not understand why I had not been able to taste the kimchi, which Shake Shack has mentioned is the component that brings their Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich together. 

I lifted the top bun and found out that apparently all the white kimchi slaw had shifted to the other end of the sandwich. I managed to personally move it around so it was spread evenly across for me to taste in each subsequent bite. 

The white kimchi slaw for me was slightly salty, slightly sweet, and a bit tangy. While the slaw by itself is rather mild, it does absolute wonders as one of the components in that sandwich!

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Close Up View With Top Bun Slightly Pushed Back

I mean adding it essentially allows you to experience a multitude of flavors assuming you get some in your first bite. 

Right as you bite into the toasted potato bun, you can taste the slight salty, sweet, and tangy sensation from the slaw, which then leads you into the toasted sesame seeds on the gochujang glaze covering the juicy chicken breast, and ultimately finishing it off with again with the toasted bun!

It sounds like a mouthful journey because it is, and your palette will absolutely appreciate every second of it! 

So, is there any way or need to actually improve on it?

How Can Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Be Improved

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Size Comparison with Iphone XR

Honestly speaking in terms of its overall taste, Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich is an absolute winner!

While I understand every ingredient is fresh, the one thought I can never get out of my head is just how small this sandwich is.

If someone was to bring this to me at a restaurant or an event gathering I would immediately consider this as an appetizer seeing that it looks barely bigger than a slider.

The only other alternative I can think of since it is not easy to start serving larger portions on a whim, is for Shake Shack to consider possibly lowering the price to not exceed $7 nationwide. A single slider being served for over $9 sounds a bit wild to me.

Overall Thoughts

Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich Front View

I feel Shake Shake has hit an absolute home run with their Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Traditional Korean foods and stews are often prepared using the flavor-packed gochujang.

Additionally Korean meals are accompanied by side dishes called Banchan which almost always includes daikon radish.

This sandwich which offers a fresh and juicy chicken breast, does a wonderful job overall in maintaining and representing Korean culture in their Korean inspired menu.

Overall Rating: 9.3

You do not want to miss out on this amazing yet limited time item. Are you going to buy Shake Shack’s Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich?