Shake Shack's New Korean-Inspired 'Swicy' Menu Features A Returning Fave

Shake Shack knows that the only thing better than the combination of sweet and spicy is mixing the thrill of a new menu with the excitement of a returning favorite sandwich. Starting this Friday, January 12, the popular burger chain will be debuting its new Korean-inspired "swicy" menu, which combines sweet and spicy flavors with umami ingredients. In a press release sent to Tasting Table, Shake Shack notes that the combination of comfort food with international flavors is expected to see a wave of popularity in 2024, and the chain is looking to deliver just that to its customers.

While the Korean "swicy" menu includes three new creations, the flavor combo just happened to dovetail with the return of a popular past offering: a Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich with a sweet gochujang glaze that the restaurant first released in 2021. This time, it will be joined by a Korean BBQ burger, spicy Korean BBQ fries, and spicy Korean BBQ cheese fries. To learn more about the process behind the new menu, Tasting Table reached out to John Karangis, Executive Chef and VP of Culinary Innovation at Shake Shack. 

When asked about the "swicy" trend, Karangis said, "We love making delicious food with exciting flavors," adding that Shake Shack "wanted to expand our offerings by adding a new burger and fries that complemented the bright flavors of the gochujang and ginger spiced glaze in the Korean Style Fried Chicken." He noted that the original sandwich saw "overwhelming demand from our guests" and completely sold out at every location in 2021.

Shake Shack's Korean 'swicy' menu is getting a new burger and two new fry options

While the returning Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich is a big part of Shake Shack's new "swicy" menu, there's also a new burger and two new fries to try. Starting at $7.79, the Korean BBQ Burger is a cheeseburger with crispy sweet onions, scallions, and a savory BBQ sauce on a toasted potato bun. John Karangis says that the burger "focuses on celebrating the classic flavors of Korean BBQ," and that "the robust flavor profiles of bulgogi paired with our Shack cheeseburger creates a delicious umami blast of flavors." 

The two new fry options both include crinkle-cut fries with kimchi seasoning and a side of Korean BBQ sauce. The standard Spicy Korean BBQ fries will be $3.99 while a version that adds cheese sauce will be $4.99. According to Karangis, the Korean BBQ sauce is vegetarian, making the fries an option for those who can't enjoy the "swicy" burger and chicken sandwich. The Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich itself includes sesame seeds and a white kimchi slaw made with Choi's Kimchi from Portland, in addition to the gochujang glaze. 

It's also served on a toasted potato bun and will be priced starting at $8.49. If you are really excited about Shake Shack's new menu — and based on the previous response to the Korean Style Fried Chicken Sandwich a lot of people will be — you can get exclusive early access to the menu starting on Tuesday, January 9, by using the Shake Shack app. These "swicy" offerings will only be available for a limited time.