Yak-a-mein, a meaty noodle soup known as Old Sober, is New Orleans’s tried and true hangover cure. It’s commonly found at corner groceries and takeout spots and is a staple at the neighborhood parades called Second Lines and city festivals.
Spelled in myriad different ways (yakamein, ya-ka-mein, yaka mein, yaka meat), yak-a-mein is street food, dished up by vendors from the tailgate of pickup trucks. The soulful brew is a crossbreed of Asian and African American culinary traditions, typically made from a combination of beef, cooked eggs, green onions, and noodles stewed in a spicy, salty broth. Here now, Eater’s guide to yak-a-mein, a distinctly New Orleans dish.
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