Yakamein (formally pronounced ya-ka-main), Yakameat, Yock, Old Sober – many names and even more reasons to love this noodle soup.
In New Orleans, this beloved one pot meal is widely indulged after a night of partying, as it’s known to heal the body from the worst hangover.
Yakamein originated in New Orleans’ now Chinatown of the past that was established by Chinese immigrants from California during the mid-19th century. During this period the Chinese noodle soup adapted to local Creole culture for the Chinese clientele. Others believe it was introduced by African Americans returning from the Korean War who were nostalgic about the dish they enjoyed while serving there.
Locally, New Orleans native Lind aGreen is adorned as “The Yakamein Lady.” For the past 20 years+, Ms. Linda has sold her delectable soul food and Ya-Ka-Mein along second line routes, food events and festivals. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and locals working to get their lives back together, Ms. Linda capitalized on her already strong following from selling her food part time, and made a decision to become a full-time culinary entrepreneur serving her community.
Yakamein is staple in the black community, where you can walk into a local corner store and get it at an affordable price, in a convenient plastic or styrofoam cup to enjoy on the go.
Whether you need a hangover cure from a wild night in the French Quarter, or looking for a noodle soup to warm your soul, yakamein is the local favorite you want to try!
- 1lb beef stew meat
- 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1lb spaghetti noodles
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 boiled eggs, halved
- 5 cups beef broth
- 1 cap full Zatarain’s liquid crab boil
- Chopped green onions for garnish
- Onion powder, to taste
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Soy sauce (optional)
- Cut meat into chunks and season with spices and Worcestershire sauce.
- Pour beef broth into a saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add beef and reduce to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for 1-2 hours or until meat is fork tender.
- Coat shrimp in the liquid crab boil, and add to pot; cook for additional 15-20 minutes
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
- Fill boil with spaghetti and beef broth; add in shrimp, beef, two boiled egg halfs, and garnish with green onions.