If you’re feeling a little under the weather because of too much partying last night, you should see the Yakamein Lady. She makes a soup that supposedly can cure all sorts of ailments.
“It is a noodle soup,” explains Chef Linda Green. “I use spaghetti. You could put any meat you want, hard boiled egg and green onions, but it’s the broth. That is the thing, that broth.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, those who know Mrs. Linda know her as the Yakamein Lady.
“A lot of people call it ‘yakameat,’ but it’s Yakamein. That’s what it is.”
Add some hot sauce and soy sauce and two worlds collide. Yakamein is a New Orleans tradition, but with an Asian twist, and while she’ll tell us what’s in the bowl, she won’t tell us what’s in the broth. It’s a secret only her daughter and granddaughter know.
Some say the soup was brought to New Orleans by Chinese immigrants; others say when troops who fought in the Korean War returned home, they craved the noodle soup they had overseas.
“I like to go with the Korean soldier because they call it ‘old sober’ and after all that fierce fighting and drinking and having a good time, you know, they know they had to get up in the morning, and they eat some Yakamein and it’ll sober them up a little bit.”
Mrs. Linda swears her soup will cure a hangover. Maybe that’s why the recipe is in hot demand year-round in New Orleans.