MasterChef 2020 Finalist Sandy Tang has launched Journey to the West, a range of freshly made dumplings, ready to cook at home. We turned up the heat and tried some.

Sandy was born in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, and since arriving in the UK in her teens, she has been experimenting with foods and flavours from her home here, and her heritage in Asia & Portugal ever since.

She made it to the MasterChef finals in 2020, and she’s been working as a chef and recipe developer ever since.

Journey to the West’s products are all made without artificial colours or preservatives and using responsibly sourced, high-quality ingredients. They’re delivered fresh (but can be frozen), and are ready to eat within minutes. Six to be precise, if you steam them. They have no artificial colours or preservatives

So we unpacked some samples, a couple so new they didn’t yet have bespoke packaging, and tried the
Lamb masala momos – These they say are inspired by the Himalayas ‘where Chinese, Tibetan and Indian influences converge’

These pretty pleated parcels are filled with lamb spiced with cumin, coriander seeds, garam masala, and a hint of Kashmiri chilli.

We liked the filling very much, but it didn’t connect with the dumpling case, being so very dense it fell out and left the case behind like a discarded wrapper. This wouldn’t happen if you ate them whole, but they’re a bit too big for that as well as hot.

Possibly we overcooked them, but I think the lamb should have been minced less finely and only loosely compressed before being wrapped. Nice, but not perfect.

Pork and shrimp siu mai were impressive with a fat prawn on top of a filling of minced prawn, and probably some pork too, and flavoured with Sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, and ginger. A bit more salt would have suited me but the included dumpling sauce sachet made up for it.

I’ve had Omnipork before, a vegan ‘pork’ with a rather unfortunate name. I can’t be the only person who finds that name a bit sinister. It does a very good imitation though and Vegetarian Omnipork dumplings are traditional Chinese style Jiaozi, which you can fry or steam (frying creates a nice crust) and served with included chilli oil they were actually my favourites of all the dumplings.

We didn’t try the Pork, veal & pancetta pelmeni – classic Siberian dumplings to be served with a spoonful of crème fraiche or smetana, and a little fresh dill on the side or in a bowl with hot broth but they sound good and coming soon are Xiao Long Bao pork soup dumplings

The full range is available now for nationwide delivery from the Journey to the West website priced from £5.95.