Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe (Yock-A-Mein)

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What kind of food is yock (yok)?

Soul food chicken yock is a meal that’s an ode to my hometown in coastal Virginia. The Tidewater region, area code 757.

Virginia yock recipe - What kind of food is yock (yok)?

We say two up, two down. Put two fingers up for V, and two fingers down for Ayy – VA (Virginia).

If you Google this yock soul food recipe, Tidewater Virginia yock, followed by Norfolk yock, will be at the top of the list!

Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe Yock A Mein

What is chicken yock food (yock-a-mein)?

People also ask, “What is chicken yok?”

Chicken yock is a big bowl of comfort. You may know this dish from its menu names, like New Orleans Old Sober. Or its Chinese derivatives, yak, yok, yock-a-mein (yaka mein), or simply Chinese yock. 

Or maybe you know this dish by its African-American nicknames given over the years – low-rent lo mein and (New Orleans) Seventh Ward mein.

What ingredients are in soul food chicken yock?

Is yock Chinese food or soul food?

Season one of The Wire cut many folks to the white meat when it suggested that yock is not Chinese food and most definitely a soul food dish that Black folks created!

Yock may just be soul food and Chinese food combined. A soup-like dish traditionally made from boiled chicken, noodles, egg, spices, and broth. Then topped with your choice of American ketchup, Chinese soy sauce, or Black folks’ favorite – hot sauce!

Soul Food Chicken Yock

Soul food chicken yock has a warm, brothy, and flavorful profile that pleases most. 

It’s a cosmopolitan dish of sorts, crossing ethnic food boundaries. 

That’s why most Chinese restaurants located in the urban communities of Norfolk, Virginia, are sure to have this as a featured selection on the menu!

Black Folks Soul Food Yaka Mein Recipe

How do you make chicken yock?

Like most soul food recipes, the key in making this dish is to season the chicken to perfection and then cook it in a flavorful broth until it’s tender. 

What kind of noodles are used in Virginia yock?

What is Virginia yock?

The Virginian-Pilot published an article to tell the story of yock’s “murky history” in Tidewater, highlighting the African American dish with the slippery noodle and dark broth or sauce.

In the article, they interview a Tidewater native who tells a story of how Virginia yock came to be a thing, back in the early 1900s when African Americans were drawn to the area by government jobs. 

What Is Virginia Yock?

What are people saying about Chinese restaurants in Norfolk, VA?

“When Chinese restaurants opened in Black neighborhoods, yock grew out of the owners’ attempts to create something that the local clientele would really like.” —The Virginian-Pilot

A dish we really like might be an understatement!  

When I was growing up, it wasn’t unusual to see a sign on an apartment building door or a church bulletin board taking orders for soul food chicken yock.

This meal is loved so much that someone in the Black community would take the time to stew over a large stockpot of yock all day. All this cooking (with no Instant Pot, mind you) for serving yock to the masses!

What kind of noodles are used in Virginia yock?

Boiling chicken with either spaghetti noodles or ramen noodles to sell yock dinners within the community. That’s a recipe for Virginia yock.

If you were to talk to an old head from the Tidewater area. They’d probably smile and then chuckle at nostalgic memories of this type of neighborhood dinner distribution. What was once called a yock party!

Today’s yock parties (yock dinners for sale) are announced via Instagram! #Yock

Tidewater Yock Pop Up

Can you make soul food chicken yock in an Instant Pot?

There are definitely contemporary versions of Louisiana’s “Seventh Ward mein” or Old Sober and Virginia’s chicken yock recipe. 

One such is yock made in the Instant Pot. What I call “Magical Meals In Minutes!”

Yock Noodles

What kind of noodles do you use for chicken yock?

People ask, “What are yock noodles made of?”

What I think they mean is what noodles do you use in soul food yock?

Some dish variations include spaghetti noodles, while other recipes include lo mein. What will you choose to have in your chicken yock?

Despite being so tender, the chicken has a great taste, thanks to the garlic, Creole seasoning, chicken bouillon, and soy sauce that give it an authentic flavor. 

You can serve soul food chicken yock at your next party or gathering or enjoy it on a cozy, quiet night at home.

Instant Pot Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe

Virginia yock recipe

Kitchen equipment for chicken yock soul food recipe

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Ingredients for a chicken yock soul food recipe

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken breast
  • 8 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles 
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ a teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half to garnish
  • ¼ cup of green onions, chopped to garnish
  • soy sauce, hot sauce, or ketchup for serving condiments

Instructions for chicken yock in the Instant Pot

  1. Open the Instant Pot lid and turn it on with the sauté setting for 5 minutes.
  2. With the Instant Pot lid off, sauté the butter, onions, and garlic until the onions soften, and then cancel the sauté setting.
  3. Pour the water and chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot with the sautéed onions and add the chicken bouillon. 
  4. Add the Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken to the broth and stir the mixture.
  5. Then break the uncooked spaghetti noodles in half and submerge them in the broth.
  6. Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 2 minutes.
  7. When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes.
  8. To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  9. Serve this chicken yock soul food recipe hot with garnishments of halved hard-boiled egg and chopped green onion to garnish. 
  10. Black folks eat yock with either a squeeze of soy sauce, hot sauce, or ketchup on top. Enjoy!

🎙 Listen to The Soul Food Pod episode: Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe (Yock-A-Mein)

Chicken Yock Soul Food Recipe

What do you serve with soul food chicken yock?

Yock is a dish that can hold its own. Or it can go perfectly alongside other Southern soul food classics. Here are a few soul food recipe favorites to try with it:

Black Folks Homemade Cornbread

Black Folks Southern Cabbage Recipe

Black Folks Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

And for dessert?

Black folks Southern bread pudding

Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock FAQs

What are yock noodles made of?

Yock recipes include protein-loaded ingredients like boiled chicken, chicken broth, chicken bouillon, spaghetti noodles, or Chinese noodles. And don’t forget to top the dish with halves of hard-boiled eggs – they’re an essential part of any yummy yock noodle dish! 

Yock Soul Food Recipe

What kind of meat works well in yock?

You have a few options when choosing meat to put in your yock. 

The most popular type of meat to put in yock is chicken. Beef and pork are also popular choices.

I’ve even seen someone on the ‘Gram use oxtail over ramen when they made homemade yock!

What goes in yock a mein?

What do you put in your yock a mein?

Yock is a soul food Chinese noodle dish found in many Chinese restaurants in Virginia and up North into Maryland and Washington DC. 

The noodles are typically stir-fried with chicken, beef, or pork. Other ingredients like garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil make yock a mein taste so delicious! 

Yock a mein can be served hot or cold, but it’s traditionally eaten warm because this helps to keep all the flavors mixed.

Tidewater Virginia Yock

What kind of sauce do you use for yock?

Soy sauce, ketchup, and hot sauce are the most common condiments for yock. 

Which is your favorite? 

No soy, no problem! 

Try sriracha, tabasco, or Texas Pete instead!

What’s the difference between lo mein noodles and spaghetti?

The answer is eggs! Spaghetti does not contain eggs, but lo mein does. So, if you’re looking for a noodle dish that doesn’t have any eggs, go for spaghetti – but both noodles are equally delicious!

Who Wants Yock A Mein?

What did you think about this recipe?

Most Southerners know BBQ, Cheerwine, and Krispy Kreme. But have you ever heard of yock?

Southern hospitality is an essential part of soul food. You can taste the Southern charm.

There’s something about the slow pace and easy-going nature of it all that makes you feel at home. So when you’re feeling hungry, there are some great Southern dishes to try out before settling on a favorite – like Virginia chicken yock!

Soul Food Homemade Chicken Yock

How would you rate yock (yaka-mein)?

You can make chicken yock in various ways, but this Instant Pot recipe is the easiest. 

It’s a mix of white meat chicken in broth, salt, and pepper, with soy sauce, ketchup, or hot sauce to top it off. There aren’t too many ingredients involved, so you know it has to be good when they all come together!

Yock is a dish that can hold its own. Or it can go perfectly alongside other Southern soul food classics. You can even add more veggies on top for balance if you like!

You can get as creative as you want with your recipes for yock. Just like its name – yock, yak, yok, yock-a-mein, or yaka mein!

What is chicken yok?

Did you enjoy this chicken yock recipe?

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

More classic Black folks’ recipes to love:

The Best Black Folks Soul Food Southern Chicken Recipes
The Best Black Folks Soul Food Southern Chicken Recipes
There’s no denying chicken with a balance of tender meat on the inside & crispy seasoning on the outside is a Black folks soul food specialty.
Check out this recipe!

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe - Yock-A-Mein Recipe
Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe Yock A Mein

Black Folks Soul Food Chicken Yock Recipe (Yock-A-Mein)

Chicken yock is a big bowl of comfort. In a warm, flavorful broth, soul food and Chinese food combine for tender chicken and noodles. This dish is also known as Old Sober, yak, yok, yock-a-mein (yaka mein), or simply Chinese yock.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Soul Food
Servings: 4
Calories: 378kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken breast pre-cooked
  • 8 oz spaghetti noodles uncooked
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs cut in half to garnish
  • ¼ cup green onions chopped to garnish
  • soy sauce hot sauce, or ketchup for serving condiments

Instructions

  • Open the Instant Pot lid and turn it on with the sauté setting for 5 minutes.
  • With the Instant Pot lid off, sauté the butter, onions, and garlic until the onions soften, and then cancel the sauté setting.
  • Pour the water and chicken broth into the stainless-steel inner pot with the sautéed onions and add the chicken bouillon.
  • Add the Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken to the broth and stir the mixture.
  • Then break the uncooked spaghetti noodles in half and submerge them in the broth.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 2 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 5 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Serve this chicken yock soul food recipe hot with garnishments of halved hard-boiled egg and chopped green onion to garnish.
  • Black folks eat yock with either a squeeze of soy sauce, hot sauce, or ketchup on top. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Chicken Yock Recipe - Yock A Mein Recipe Card

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1628mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 654IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg
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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for supper last night and it was SO GOOD. I’ve been sharing the link with everyone! Thanks for this!

    1. 5 stars
      Wow! I’m humbled by your kind words. Chicken yock is dear to my heart because it originated in my hometown. Thank you kindly for continuing to share this classic homegrown recipe.

  2. Cyrene Jo Peñas says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is similar to our ‘Chicken Mami’, warm and hearty meal.

  3. 5 stars
    My mother used boiled ribs for hers and Nucky’s in Hampton sold special noodles just for this dish! Love it!