The other night, I found myself watching the Netflix series Street Food USA. There was an episode dedicated to New Orleans which caught my eye. A major part of the show focused on Linda Green, a.k.a. “The Yakamein Lady.”
As her name implies, Green specialized in a dish called yakamein. It’s a simple dish; a cup of spaghetti noodles with beef topped with an egg, sometimes shrimp, green onion and a dash of soy sauce. Then it all sits in a rich, dark broth.
Yakamein is a mishmash of Chinese and Cajun cuisine. It’s basically a beef noodle soup and found in many Creole restaurants in New Orleans. Some people have given it the unofficial title of the “Sober Up Food”. Many street vendors also serve the dish straight out of a styrofoam cup and a plastic fork.
After watching the episode, I became instantly enamored with it and tried to see if anybody in Wichita sold this dish. I came up with nothing, so I set out to do something I rarely do; cook at home. The next few hours were spent on researching recipe after recipe, and then I came across one from a New Orleans native named Charlie Andrews on YouTube.
I won’t copy and paste his recipe, but have shared his video below. The basics gist of the recipe, though, called for spaghetti, chuck roast, shrimp, eggs, green onions, and an assortment of spices and seasonings that I had no problem finding at the grocery store. All of it is included in the video below.
It took me roughly 2 and a half to 3 hours to make. Much of that was waiting on things to simmer. Seriously, outside of smoking meat, this was probably the longest I’ve ever invested into making a meal; so much harder than zapping a bowl of Spaghettio’s in the microwave. The end result was excellent. I loved the Cajun flavors of the broth; I could see how it could cure any hangover. The chuck roast was surprisingly tender; I figured I would mess that up, but didn’t. If you want it spicy, there’s an option to add as much hot sauce as you want to the broth while it’s cooking.
The entire day leading up to cooking, I was incredibly worried I would mess it up but it came out well. Do I want to spend 3 hours doing that again? Maybe, I’m not a huge fan of being in the kitchen but I was very pleased and happy with the result.
Would any restaurant or pop-up consider making this dish sometime? If so, sign me up!
Here’s the video, in case, you’d like to watch.
Have a great recipe to share? Please e-mail us as we are always open to suggestions.
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