On the shelf
In the wrong hands, rose water can make a dish taste like an ancient linen cupboard, so use the Al Wadi Al Akhdar rose water judiciously. A product of Lebanon, it contains water, concentrated rose water and natural rose flavours. I added a small amount of it to a batch of lychee, raspberry and rose jam, and it perfumed it beautifully. It sells for HK$28 for 300ml at City'super (Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 2888).
When I cook for one, I often make a quick dish of pasta or noodles mixed with meat and whatever bottled sauces I have on hand. This Pantai crab paste doesn't need much added to it, although a poached egg makes a plate of spaghetti with crab sauce even richer. The paste, which comes from Thailand, is made of crab meat, soya bean oil and garlic. It just needs to be heated slightly before it's mixed with noodles. It sells for HK$40.90 for 200 grams at Great in Pacific Place, Admiralty (tel: 2918 9986).
Yes, I know these Kindly Eggs preserved quail eggs aren't as complex and delicious as the normal pei dan (also called century eggs). But they look good and make a lovely little canape when served in miniature soup spoons with a drop or two of soy sauce and a little julienned preserved ginger. The lead-free eggs are made in Taiwan and cost HK$18 per dozen at City'super.