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Ya Ka Mein (Old Sober) | by SazeracLA
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Ya Ka Mein (Old Sober)

Photo by Chuck Taggart,


The beef noodle soup that's a long time tradition in New Orleans' black community, served in bars, corner groceries and at second lines. Spaghetti topped with chopped meat, half a hard-boiled egg, green onions and a beef soy-sauce-and-Worcestershire sauce broth, which is really good and a lot better than it sounds.


It's also supposedly an ace hangover cure (hence the nickname).


According to the best ya ka mein maker in the city, it was probably brought back by black veterans of the Korean war. "Seoul food," as the T-P quipped.


See below for a basic recipe, but I intend to work on my own version, which I'll post on my main site in due course.


(Notes on making so far: use a mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) to flavor the broth. A halved head of garlic wouldn't hurt either. Simmer slowly. DO NOT BOIL. Lots of Worcestershire sauce also seems to be key to achieving the flavor.)

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Taken on April 28, 2006