A Deliciously Tasty Roast Pork Yat Gaw Mein Soup Recipe

Yat Gaw Mein, or Yakamein as it’s commonly called in New Orleans, is a satisfying dish. Resembling other noodle soups like pho and ramen, Yat gaw mein is, like its cousins, more than just a soup. It’s a meal in a bowl with flavors mixing Asian and Creole influences.

Like pho, it has a strongly flavored, transparent, and beefy broth. Unlike pho, its noodles are chewy wheat noodles, not thin rice noodles, and the spices are in the tradition of New Orleans creole cuisine, making the dish hot on multiple levels. This roast pork yat gaw mein soup recipe will satisfy.

Yat gaw mein is known as a hangover cure as well. Called “Old Sober” in the Big Easy. Nutritious and spicy, it brings liquid to counter the dehydration that causes a hangover’s headache, while the capsaicin in the broth and vitamins and minerals in the meat and vegetables bring back everything that a night’s drinking strips away from the drinker.

With that reputation, it’s not surprising that yat gaw mein is a popular brunch staple in the Big Easy. It’s also no surprise with its history, yat gaw mein is a whole family of soups that are popular in the New Orleans area, and now it can be your favorite Friday night end-of-the-work-week dish, too. Full of amazing flavor and delicious vegetables, yat gaw mein is a guaranteed hit with older kids and adults of all ages.

Here’s a deliciously tasty roast pork Yat Gaw Mein soup recipe:



  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 48oz. can chicken broth
  • 1 32oz. carton vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (affiliate link)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 head bok choy, chopped keeping leafy greens and stalks separated
  • 8 ounces of noodles (see FAQs)
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs, sliced in half
  • chopped scallion for garnishing
  • soy sauce, or hot sauce for condiment, optional

Chinese Roast Red Pork:

  • 1 (3.52-ounce packet) seasoning mix for roast red pork (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin


  • Combine the pouch of seasoning mix and water in a ziplock bag and massage to combine, then place pork in the bag and seal to chill for up to 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Once the oven is to temperature, put a thermometer probe in the pork and bake until the internal temperature is 145° F.
  • Remove from the oven and rest for up to 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices and set aside. Chop the white heads from the greens of the scallions. Slice the heads in half lengthwise and set them aside. Chiffonade the long greens and set them in a dish for garnishing.
  • While the pork is roasting, boil a pot of water and noodles. Drain noodles when they reach al dente and shock in cold water, setting to the side. The noodles must be al dente at this step because they will finish in the broth.
  • Preheat a pot and sauté the garlic in oil briefly until deeply aromatic.
  • Immediately once the garlic is aromatic add broths, Cajun and onion powder seasonings, soy sauce, and the scallion heads.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, stirring when it reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • While the broth is simmering, cook 1 egg per diner in a separate pot. In just-simmering water, immerse the eggs for 6-7 minutes if you want to serve the eggs soft-boiled, 8-9 minutes for semi-hard, and 10-11 minutes for hard-boiled.
  • If you use a steamer, 5 minutes will result in an egg with a liquid yolk and the whites not fully set, up to 12 minutes for a hard-boiled egg with a fully set yolk.
  • Chop and measure the Bok Choy stalks and greens. Add the stalks to the broth and simmer briefly, then add the leaves and cook until both are tender about 5-6 minutes.
  • Season broth to taste.
  • To serve, add noodles and a generous pinch of chiffonade scallion tops to each bowl. Cover each bowl with the broth, using a slotted spoon to serve a generous portion of the bok choy to each diner. Add pork and an egg, and garnish with more of the scallion tops.
  • If desired, add hot sauce or soy sauce.


What Meats Can You Use With Yat Gaw Mein?

As you can imagine, yat gaw mein is a dish that pretty much has an “anything goes” attitude toward its protein. Recipes involving beef, chicken, and of course, New Orleans’ favorite, seafood, are common. The yat gaw mein dish has very little restraint as far as where its protein comes from if it has it.

Where Does Yat Gaw Mein Come From?

Yat Gaw Mein is a popular dish in New Orleans. Some stories of the origin of the dish point to the aftermath of the Korean War, with Black soldiers returning to America with this dish in tow. According to the story, they adapted it to their home-grown tastes, adding spices and roast meats.

Another story that is probably closer to the truth is that Chinese immigrants to the area in the 1800s, working on railroads, brought their food with them, adapting it to local cultures. The dish’s similarity to Chinese noodle soups argues for this possibility, as does the fact that it was introduced locally at least earlier than the Great Depression, twenty years before the Korean War.

Where has Yat Gaw Mein Taken Root?

Besides New Orleans, this Big Easy specialty dish has taken root in many cities along the East Coast. Diners in Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas report that it’s taken up residence in their home cities, where its medicinal qualities and highly spicy nature make it just as welcome as in its original hometown of New Orleans. Yat Gaw Mein is known by many names: Yaga Mein, Yaka Mein, Yack, Yock, and many others, even as far north as Boston. Its name may spring from the Chinese name for spring noodles (yangchun mein), a popular rice noodle soup snack food.

What Kind of Noodles Should I Use?

Traditional Yat Gaw Mein isn’t picky about what kind of noodles it uses. Most recipes use spaghetti or linguini noodles because they’re inexpensive and readily available. Experiment with the kinds of noodles you think would be best – Creole cooking is all about experimentation.

Yat Gaw Mein, no matter how it’s spelled or pronounced, and no matter its origins, is a popular “feel good” soup in Creole culture in the deep south of Louisiana. Its bold spices can make it a favorite in your house as well.

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