Preparation, Speed, Heat: RecipeTinEats on How to Stir Up Anything | Australian food and drink

nAji Mahashi has appeared at dinner tables across the country. She was at Christmas brunch with the perfect summer salad, with exhausted parents sneaking veggies into midweek staples and her in-laws admired a flawless slice of lemon.

It’s the culmination of years of working on RecipeTin Eats, the food and recipe blog that I started with a $50 WordPress account.

On the day it was launched, the site received two clicks: from Maehashi and her mother.

A month later, she put together her recipe for “all-purpose frying sauce” — which she calls the Swiss Army Knife of stir-fry sauces. It was shared on Pinterest and its base started to grow.

Shortly after that, her cheese and garlic crack bread recipe was taken down and is now viewed nearly 200 million times on Facebook.

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Now, the blog gets an average of 27 million visits per month, has eight full-time employees, 972k followers on Instagram and a food bank, and has spawned a cookbook: RecipeTin Eats: Dinner.

Over the years, Mahashi says, she has seen Australian home chefs become more adventurous – with their tastes and recipes. They want to know how to make a stomach-filling and soul-nourishing luxe, or remake the perfect Reuben sandwich they were eating in New York.

“They want to create it at home. It’s really exciting to see it actually…I think having access to recipes online has really made home cooking possible,” she says.

But she also understands the risks involved in following online recipes. In fact, they are what prompted her to start her blog in the first place. “This sounds really terrible but honestly, when I started looking at all the other recipe sites, some of them were… really bad,” she says.

“You can’t put soy sauce in a bunch of vegetables and meat and call it stir-fry. As if it wouldn’t be tasty.”

Mahashi wants everyone to make good food and make it good. One of her best tips for home cooks is to chop garlic and onions quickly.

But then she quickly backs away from the answer. “Actually, my number one tip for everyone in the kitchen is to relax and have more fun.”

“I know this sounds silly but I think cooking is more about confidence rather than meticulously following a recipe.”

Here, Mohashi shares her recipe for quick stir-fry. It’s not a how-to guide but a guide. Choose your own adventure based on preferences and what’s available in the fridge.

Nagi Mahashi how to fry anything

serve 2

to equip 5 minutes

cook 5 minutes

Make sure all of your ingredients are measured and ready to toss in the pan because once you start cooking, things move quickly.

to start
2 tablespoons canola oil

basic flavorings
1 clove garlic
finely chopped
1 teaspoon gingerfinely chopped (or more if desired)
fresh pepperfinely chopped

5 cups toppings
(crude proteins and vegetables)
3 tablespoons all-purpose charlie sauce (recipe below)
Half a cup of water (85 ml)

stir-fried noodles
4 cups toppings
(crude proteins and vegetables)
3 cups of noodles the choicecooked (200g fresh or 100g dried)
3 tablespoons all-purpose charlie sauce (recipe below)
Half a cup of water (85 ml)

Additional flavors
Sriracha, chili paste or any other spicy addition
sweet chili sauce
Sesame oil
Replace the water with pineapple juice or orange juice
Thai basil, chives or coriander leaves
Chinese five spices

fry aromatics: Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. Add your choice of base flavors and stir for 10 seconds until light golden brown.

fried: Add in quick-frying add-ons, starting with ingredients that take longer (eg onions, proteins, and carrots go in first, leaving leafy greens like cabbage and Asian greens last). Stir constantly or it will become liquid.

Pasta option: Add pasta (if using).

Add Charlie’s Quick Frying Sauce Plus water and any additional flavorings you use and leafy greens.

Reduce the sauce: Gently stir the mixture and cook for about a minute. The sauce will become a thick, glossy sauce that coats the stir fry.

serve Immediately! Serve the fried potatoes over the rice. The pasta can be divided between bowls and served as is.



  • Always chop garlic with a knife For a quick stir-fry, instead of using a garlic press, it makes the garlic paste like garlic paste so that it burns and spits and sticks to the pan.

  • Protein suggestions: Sliced ​​chicken, pork, beef, medium-sized whole shrimp or even ground beef.

  • Vegetable suggestions: Sliced ​​onions (I almost always use them), carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, Asian vegetables (separate stems from leaves, put stems first as they take longer to cook), cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower (steam before use), baby corn (canned or fresh), bamboo shoots (canned).

  • Pasta options: 200g fresh noodles (from the refrigerator), such as Hokkien noodles; 125g dried noodles (egg, wheat or rice noodles); Two or three small ramen cakes, prepare according to the instructions on the package.

Nagi Mahashi the multi-purpose “Swiss Army Knife of Fast Fried Sauce” produced by Nagi Mahashi, also known as Charlie. Photography: Rob Palmer / Pan Macmillan Australia

Charlie’s All-Purpose Frying Sauce

Make 1½ cups (375 ml), enough for 16 doses

to equip 5 minutes

cook no thing

Here is my Swiss Army Knife of fried sauces. It’s a classic Chinese brown sauce that has enough flavor to use as is, but is also neutral enough as a base that you can build on with other added flavors.

“Brown sauce” sounded a bit sloppy, so I always end up calling it “Charlie” – as in Charlie Brown. Charlie is the trusted friend of many different fast fries. Keep a stash of these handy in your fridge like I do. It will save you time and time again when you need to dine for a week in a flash.

½ cup light soy sauce (125 ml)
½ cup oyster sauce (125 ml)
¼ cup Chinese cooking wine (60 ml)
Half a cup of cornmeal (30g)
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon white pepper (Or more!)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and shake well to combine. Store Charlie in the refrigerator and shake well before use.

RecipeTin Eats front cover: A dinner cookbook, featuring chef Nagi Mahashi and her dog shovel, and a roast chicken dish.
Photography: Rob Palmer / Pan Macmillan Australia

To use, mix 3 tablespoons of charlie with 1/3 cup (85 ml) of water to make stir-fry or stir-fry noodles for two.

This will last in the refrigerator for six weeks or more, subject to the shelf life of the ingredients used. Shake the jar every two days to prevent the cornmeal from settling and solidifying on the base of the jar. Not suitable for freezing.


  • Light soy sauce can be substituted for all-purpose soy sauce although the sauce will be darker in color.

  • Chinese cooking wine can be substituted for low-salt chicken broth, although this will reduce the shelf life of the sauce to one week.

  • This is an edited excerpt from RecipeTin Eats: Dinner, by Nagi Mahashi. Available now from Pan Macmillan Australia ($49.99).

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