Where can I buy yakamein?
Yakamein is a family dish, popular through the African-American community and can be found throughout New Orleans at small mom-and-pop restaurants. Further out than the city the dish is fairly unknown as it is one of New Orleans best-kept secrets, so the easiest way to experience yakamein noodles for yourself is to follow our simple homemade recipe for yourself.
What does yakamein taste like?
The soup is also known as ‘New Orleans old sober soup’, named for its use as a hangover cure thanks to the dish's rich and satisfying properties. Yakamein is a complete meal providing noodles, broth, meat, egg and vegetable garnish all within one bowl. The base of the broth is a delicious meatiness which is then heightened by a combination of spicy, savory, sweet and salt flavorings. The flavors and simplicity of yakamein noodles make this dish a recipe that you will keep returning to.
Where is yakamein from?
The dish originates in New Orleans as a culmination of Chinese and Creole traditions. The base of the dish is a Chinese soup made from a soy-salty broth which is then seasoned with a blend of Cajun or Creole seasoning. Bringing together elements of many cultures yakamein uses ingredients such as Creole seasoning, spaghetti noodles, hot sauce and ketchup which are not traditional to Chinese cuisine and show the adaptation of the recipe using ingredients which are familiar and loved by the local community.
There are conflicting stories of what brought yakamein noodles to New Orleans with two main origin stories. One belief is that the noodle broth was introduced through Chinese immigrants who were brought to New Orleans to build railroads and work the sugar plantations. The second theory is that returning African-American soldiers from the Korean war created a demand for the food they had become exposed to in Asia. No matter the origin yakamein is here to stay and has become a classic staple throughout New Orleans.