Missing Mary’s Laksa

Laksa is my favourite meal in the whole world and Mary’s laksa is my favourite variety. Two types of noodles (rice and egg). A light broth that’s not as heavy on the coconut or chilli as it is on the savoury tang.

But it did not start with Mary, no no no! I’ve been a devoted fan of this tangy, spicy soup for years. I cannot remember my first (I think Graham Jenkins started me off on the habit actually) but I do remember setting up the GIO Laksa Club at one of my first places of employment.  The office used to have all kinds of sporting teams in its ranks. Netball, touch football and all kinds of running groups. The Social Club (Marketing department) was kind (savvy) enough to donate shirts to these teams and one day I stumbled across some old ones in a cupboard that had logos printed in a bright yellow shirt. No wonder they were resigned to the stationery closet, but they were perfect for hiding the little flecks of chilli oil that were the telltale sign we’d snuck off for a curry soup at lunchtime. I grabbed a handful of the shirts and scrawled “Laksa Club” beneath the logo and our affiliation was made official.

Kieran got me started on this train of thought today. I’m meant to be writing. I have a whole day off to devote to writing but I suppose this made me an easy target for a flight of complicated fancy (AKA procrastination).

So that we’re on the same page and you know what I’m talking about. Meet Mary.

She’s a bit of a Darwin legend and has a stall at Parap Markets (amongst others perhaps?) I took the photo above in 2006 but those on the North Australian Fish Finder forum say she’s an institution and use her as the benchmark of all laksa recipes:

“Is it as good as Marys Laksa at Parap?”

“OMG! never, Mary’s is the very best of the best”

Knowledge of Mary is even used as a benchmark for being able to call yourself a local:

“she’s been there for so long, that we could say that you know that you have grown up in Darwin, if you remember a day before Mary at Parap’s market…”

Which lead me to this:

“a cracker jack easy Laksa recipe on Food Safari SBS last wednesday night as well……that is nearly as good as Marys..big call I know…”

The Cheat’s Laksa (and if you follow the link, you’ll see a video how-to). After a scramble to the supermarket for a few supplies, one hour later, satisfaction was mine. The proof is in the pictures.

Do you harbour a laksa obsession? Why are they soooooo good?

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