About Ms. Linda

Winner of the Food Network's Chopped: Pride of New Orleans contest and featured on Anthony Bourdain's Food Network show No Reservations, Linda Green reputedly has the best Ya-Ka-Mein in the United States and is known throughout New Orleans as the "Yakamein Lady."

For the past twenty years, she has sold her Ya-Ka-Mein along Second Line routes, along with running Ms. Linda's Catering, which specializes in New Orleans Soul Food cuisine for all size events.

Ms. Linda has served up her delicious food at festivals and events such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Essence Festival and the Crescent City Farmer's Market. These experiences have shaped her as an entrepreneur and brought her notoriety amongst New Orleans' natives and famous entertainers.

Congratulations!

Ms. Linda Wins Chopped
Congratulations Ms. Linda for winning the Food Network's "Chopped: Pride of New Orleans" contest!

Didn't catch the episode? Click here for future airing dates! 

What is Yakamein?

Ya-ka-Mein is a New Orleans dish made from a combination of meat, eggs, green onions and noodles in a spicy, salty broth with an Asian twist by the addition of soy sauce. Black Korean soldiers made Ya-ka-mein in Korea, using the soup to sober up after a fierce day of fighting and drinking. They brought the dish to the states, where it has been a tradition ever since. It was typically served in African-American bars, Second Lines and festivals, referred to as "Old Sober", reflecting its power to alleviate the pain of hangovers.

Linda Green, simply known by many as the “Yaka Mein Lady”, is the most well known parade and festival Ya-ka-mein purveyor.

No Reservations

Tony travels beyond New Orleans and into Cajun Country to find out what sets bayou culture apart. He dines with locals Wendell Pierce and Lolis Elie, partakes in an authentic crawfish boil and ends his trip with a whole-hog roast.

Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:00

Cochon de Lait – Pulled Pork Sandwich

In New Orleans, the sandwich is like a brass band, there are plenty. You have your po’ boys, the roast beef to fried shrimp to oyster. The muffuletta. The parade sandwich. But under each of those, you have a hundred different ways to make them. Like the brass brands, from 2012 Grammy winners The ReBirth Brass Band to the Young Fellaz Brass Band. Hot 8 to the Free Agents. Soul Rebels to the Treme Brass Band.

Even the YakaMein Lady Miss Linda Green has a sandwich. She’ll be on UNITED TASTES OF AMERICA with Jeffrey Saad at the end of the month, March 20th at 10:00 pm eastern time. You can get a preview of the episode here. The show was taped at the Po’ Boy Festival this past November. Miss Linda said it’s her pork chop sandwich that she makes for the JazzFest on sliced bread, but for this Po’ Boy Festival, she did it on french bread and it has the bone in it. You can follow Miss Linda on Twitter: @oneofTEAMBREEZY.

The pork chop sounded good. At the same time Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine had this recipe in the January issue, Cochon de Lait and Cole Slaw. In the ingredients it lists pork butt and tells you to shred the meat once it’s finished. Sounds like a pulled pork sandwich but what is Cochon de Lait? I’ve never heard of it before.

A Cochon de Lait translated from French means, “pig in milk”, or called “suckling pig”. A pig that has only fed on its mothers milk. It’s a Cajun dish where it’s about the process. A young pig is slaughtered, usually between the age of two to six weeks old. Being so young, the meat is tender. The whole pig is cooked at once, slow roasted. And yes, there is a festival for this in Louisiana in Mansura who holds the 38-year-old festival the second weekend of May. For more information on the festival you can visit their website here.

I’m not quite one who would slaughter anything so… you can look into that process if you want. Plus being in a suburb of Detroit, my neighbors may not appreciate it (that part of the process atleast – the sandwich they’d love). So, I went to Walmart and bought a 5 lbs Pork Butt. The Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine tells to cook the pork butt in the oven. I decided to cook it in the crock pot so I can go on about my day. This is pretty much the ingredients from the magazine but cut in half. They call for a 10 lbs pork butt which serves 15 po’ boy sandwiches. Even with a 5 lbs pork butt, my wife and I will be having quite a few po’ boys.

COCHON de LAIT

Ingredients:

5 lbs pork butt
1 tbsp creole seasoning
1 liter Barq’s Root Beer
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp vegetable oil
cole slaw
french bread or sub buns
pickled jalapenos

In a skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. I cut the pork butt in half then seasoned well with creole seasoning. You could just use salt if you wanted too. Sear the pork butt on all sides until it is golden brown. Remove from heat.

Place chopped onions and garlic in the crock pot. Place pork butt on top then cover with the Barq’s Root Beer.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Once finished, using forks, shred the pork.

To serve, place the shredded pork butt on the sandwich bun, top with clow slaw and jalapeno peppers. Enjoy!

This is a great version of a pulled pork sandwich, it’s only a Cochon de Lait by name, it has nothing on how an original one would taste in the Cajun countryside or now in New Orleans resturants were it is starting to catch on. I’m sure a meat market, in Detroit there is Eastern Market, could possibily have a “suckling pig” to purchase all ready butchered. Maybe another time…

The sandwich, or po’ boy, is the meal of the streets. Food for on the go. The parades. The festivals. The veratility. This sandwich could be made a variety of ways, crock pot or oven, the meat type to the ingredients in it. A pulled pork sandwich or as the Cochon de Lait. Just like any other muffuletta or roast beef po’boy. The style is different but the outcome is always great tasting food.

And just like the brass bands of New Orleans, the staples of the streets, music on the go. The parades. The festivals. The basis of all the music in New Orleans. It’s were a lot of the artist got their starts, playing with friends at Jackson Square. Secondlines through the Treme. Now, 2012 Grammy Award winning artists. Keep the local music alive and support the brass bands when you go to New Orleans while you’re snacking on one of Miss Linda Greens pork chop po’ boys.

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