Hungover? This noodle soup is better than hair of the dog

Yaka mein, from Lauren Shockey's Hangover Helper: Delicious Cures From Around the World.
Lauren Shockey

Lauren Shockey was reading an article about South Korean drinking culture and haejang-guk, a soup eaten as a hangover cure in the country, when an idea struck her.

“I wondered what people around the world eat when they’re hungover,” the New York-based food writer says.

Through the course of her research she discovered that just about every country around the world has particular foods that people tend to eat when they’re recovering from an episode of overindulgence.

Shockey has gathered her favourite recipes into her new book, Hangover Helper: Delicious Cures From Around the World.

Of course, you don’t have to be suffering from a night of drinking to enjoy the dishes.

“The great thing about hangover food is that it always tends to be delicious,” Shockey says.

Take, for example, the recipe for yaka mein, a beef noodle soup that mixes Creole and Chinese influences and is popular in New Orleans.

“Its nickname is ‘Old Sober,’” Shockey says. “It’s beefy, it’s soupy, it’s got a lot of salt in it from the Creole seasoning. It’s great.”
The soup mixes Creole and Chinese influences and is popular in New Orleans.
Lauren Shockey

Yaka Mein

Ingredients (Serves 2, generously)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Season the beef all over with the Creole seasoning. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed, lidded casserole dish (Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Add the halved onion and beef cubes and cook until browned, about 3 minutes, turning the cubes as needed.

Add the beef stock, water, soy sauce and ketchup to the dish and bring to a boil. Cover, then transfer to the oven and cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 1½ hours. Discard the onion, then remove the beef cubes from the casserole dish, transfer them to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Return the beef to the dish and set aside.

Bring a saucepan full of salty water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the directions on the packet. Drain and set aside.

Bring the beef broth back to a boil. To serve, divide the spaghetti, beef broth and shredded beef into two bowls. Top each bowl with two hard-boiled egg halves and the spring onions. Top with Tabasco or sriracha, if desired, and serve immediately.

Printed with permission from Hardie Grant Books.

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