Trey did a terrific hot and sour soup from scratch. A wealth of ingredients. It's the perfect chance to use dried mushroom mixes and a host of items. Trey picked up dried lily buds, an item I'd not used before, and it adds a mildly sweet, fragrant note.
Sichuanese udon. The noodles are prepared separately and then finished in a rich chili sauce. This was our one almost-authentically spicy dish. :) Two tablespoons of sichuan peppercorns toasted and then tossed in oil with about 8 dried chilis and several cloves of garlic. Then add onions, soy sauce, minced ginger, and a cup or so of chicken stock. Good stuff!
Complemented and cooled by a bean sprout and cucumber salad. A bell pepper, basil, carrot, and lemon juice too. Simple dressing of soy, vinegar, and a touch of sugar. Having multiple smaller dishes of vegetable items like this would be more common in authentic, informal cooking.
Long beans and tofu in oyster sauce. A bit of sichuan pepper and chicken stock in the sauce, too. Water chestnuts for crunch.
Fresh mango chicken! My favorite dish but also the most labor-intensive of the meal. Chicken is cut, marinated, dredged, and fried separately ahead of time. The Whole Foods by work had a sale on these ripe and sweet mangos -- 10 for $5! Since I'm rather fond of ripe mango, I had to grab some. Stir fried up with a few additions for a sweet and tangy sauce, this was a winner.