Nobody in New Orleans seems to recognize in which yakamein comes from, however, absolutely everyone consents on its most magical property: It’s a beloved hangover treatment. Called “Old Sober” because of this, the soup is a mixture of spaghetti, chopped red meat, inexperienced onions, and chopped hard-boiled eggs, drowned in a tangy beef broth, spiced up with hot sauce and soy sauce, and sprinkled with liberal amounts of Creole seasoning. (More adventurous versions had been acknowledged to consist of an alligator.) There are as many versions of the dish as there are corner shops and grandmothers who make it, however, in essence, yakamein is a consolation meal, especially for the city’s black community.
There are numerous explanations for the dish’s origins. Some say it changed into born from the nostalgic cravings of World War II or Korean War veterans, who desired to re-create the styles of noodle soups they’d loved at some stage in their time in Asia. Others speculate that the dish changed into born from a culinary verbal exchange between Creole chefs and the Chinese railroad workers who came to New Orleans within the 1800s. Historically, you’d be hard-pressed to locate it in a restaurant, rather selecting up a steaming cup on the town’s well-known second traces and fairs. Nowadays, but, the dish is making its manner onto the menus of sit-down restaurants, supplying a tackle traditional New Orleans flavor to those now not fortunate enough to understand a Creole grandma or frequent a favorite book store.
There’s serious opposition for the name of the queen of yakamein, but no story approximately the dish is whole without a mention of Ms. Linda. Called “The Yakamein Lady,” Ms. Linda cooked for New Orleans public faculties for 25 years, whilst she additionally offered her signature yakamein in steaming, meaty bowls from meals stands at Sunday second lines. When Hurricane Katrina shut down most of New Orleans public faculties in 2005, Ms. Linda began cooking complete time, commencing a catering agency and finally winning Creole cooking contests. Ms. Linda continues to hawk her soup round New Orleans, but her stand is usually at the circulate, commonly performing amid the brass-band bustle of town festivals.
Travelers lucky sufficient to seize Ms. Linda is guaranteed a remaining yakamein enjoy, but if you leave out here, in no way fear: The city is brimming with corner stores wafting the heady scent of beefy broth, and each is a unique revel in. Wherever you pick to partake in yakamein, one thing is positive: If your revel in New Orleans includes any type of nightlife, you’re going to want to get acquainted with Old Sober.
Need to Know
Yakamein is a real made-from-anything’s-in-your-cabinets type of dish, so curious eaters must sense unfastened to attempt a rendition of their personal. The noodles can be spaghetti or udon, and the sauce on pinnacle can be soy, ketchup, or warm. As for the seasoning, each chef has their very own, but a few recipes recommend a combination of paprika, onion, garlic, cayenne, thyme, and oregano.