On the shelf
This scary looking device is used for piercing tough pig skin when making siu yuk (Chinese roast pork) and English-style roast pork with crackling. Poking holes through the skin allows the fat to render out, which results in a crackling-crisp crust. It sells for about HK$38 (depending on the size) at Chan Chi Kee Cutlery (316 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, tel: 2385 0317).
I often make Korean dishes, which requires having a good supply of special ingredients to hand. I usually buy an easily available brand of doenjang (soya bean paste) and gochujang (chilli soya bean paste) but recently found this artisanal product by Arari, during a Korean food promotion at City'super (Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 2888). The differences between the commercial product and the Arari brand are less apparent in Korean stews (chigae), where the paste is mixed with a lot of other ingredients, but, when used as a topping for rice-based bibimbap or eaten with barbecued meat, the subtleties become much more evident. The doenjang costs HK$48 while the gochujang sells for HK$52.