“Everyone becomes a celebrity when they’re in Vegas,” says chef Chase Kojima Sokyo, Simulation Senpai. The essence of the city – at least for Kojima, who spent time there at Nobu – is its combination of opulence and indulgence. “When you leave and you check your bank account, you used a lot. But you only live once; you want to enjoy yourself when you’re out there.”
Kojima’s recipe is a sushi roll taken to a Las Vegas level. There’s lobster, Wagyu beef, an egg cooked for eight hours, and it’s all topped with gold flakes. The gold is strictly optional, but if you’ve spent the year dreaming of a trip to Vegas it’s well worth adding. “You want that bling bling, you want [some] flair,” says Kojima.
Eight-hour egg sauce The sauce goes on last, but you’ll want to start it first. It’s teriyaki style, but the egg, cooked slowly over eight hours, makes it a whole different beast. “People call it liquid gold,” says Kojima. “Basically, we boil the water, put the whole egg in there and then we just close the [rice cooker] lid and the residual heat will cook it perfectly.” You’re looking for something like a perfectly poached egg, except you only want the yolk. Then, with one part each of sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and oil, fold everything together.
Sushi rice Wash and cook your rice, then add sushi vinegar. “You can buy bottled ones, but if you can’t, just find some Japanese rice vinegar and add some sugar and salt,” says Kojima. As soon as the rice is done, add the sushi vinegar and mix. You don’t want the rice to go cold – room temperature is ideal.
Lobster If you’re working with a live lobster, you’ll want to place it in the freezer for an hour to put it to sleep. With a sharp knife, cut the lobster in half lengthways. “Expect a lot of juice coming out, so have some paper towel underneath it, it’s a little bit easier to do,” says Kojima.
Get your oven nice and hot, and give the lobster about seven minutes. Kojima isn’t trying to cook the whole lobster through, but you can give it 10 minutes if you’d prefer. “Because this is Tasmanian lobster, you can actually eat it raw, so you can kind of cook it medium-rare,” says Kojima. Once the lobster halves have cooled, remove the meat from the shell.
Assembling the sushi rolls To assemble, place your seaweed with the smooth side facing up and add the rice. “You want to use moist hands so the rice won’t stick onto your hands,” says Kojima. Flip the seaweed so the rice is on the bottom, then place sliced avocado and the cooked lobster meat on top of the nori. “Use the bamboo mat and just roll it up,” Kojima says. “Then you give it a little press – but don’t press too much, because you’re going to be putting stuff on top of it after.”
Once rolled, place sliced figs on top, then add raw Wagyu beef, preferably the fatty kind. The next step – an ostentatious move worthy of Vegas – involves a blowtorch, and Kojima highly recommends its use. “Why wouldn’t you want that?” Kojima says. “I think it’s going to be way too hard without it, so I say definitely get yourself one.” Torch in hand, blaze the exposed side of the Wagyu, applying a good sear for long enough to cook the beef to medium-rare.
Serving Once the beef has cooled off, slice the roll into eight pieces and plate it. Drizzle the egg sauce over the top, add gold flakes and garnish with red-veined sorrel. If you’re daring, Kojima recommends an additional garnish of Oscietra caviar to take it to yet another level of indulgence. “This is like a bling bling roll,” says Kojima. “This is my Las Vegas roll.”
Once you’re done assembling, put on a suitably high-rolling movie and make sure you have Magnum’s new Las Vegas-themed Caramelised Chocolate & Cookie ice-cream for dessert.
Chase Kojima’s luxe lobster sushi roll Serves 2–3 Prep time: Start 8 hours ahead to prepare the eggs; 1.5 hours for everything else Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: Egg sauce 3 eggs 1 part sake 1 part mirin 1 part soy sauce 1 part sugar 1 part oil
Sushi 1 cup sushi rice 100ml sushi vinegar 1 Tasmanian lobster (600–700g) 2 nori seaweed sheets ½ avocado, sliced ½ fig, thinly sliced 100g Wagyu beef, trimmed and sliced extra thin Edible gold flakes, to garnish Red-veined micro sorrel, to garnish
For the egg sauce, prep eggs about 8 hours in advance. Start by bringing some water to the boil. Place your eggs in an empty rice cooker with a lid, and gently pour boiling water over them. Close the lid and let them sit for 8 hours.
To make the sauce, crack eggs and discard whites. Add yolks to a bowl, then beat with a fork. Make teriyaki sauce by bringing sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and oil to a boil in a small saucepan. Let the mixture cool, then add it to the egg yolks, combining 1 part sauce to 1 part yolk. (Alternatively, use store-bought teriyaki sauce.)
For the sushi, cook rice in a rice cooker, and while it’s still hot pour in sushi vinegar and mix. Turn off rice cooker and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place live lobster in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut it in half lengthways and place it in a 200°C oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Descale the lobster tail meat.
To put sushi rolls together, lay 2 nori sheets side by side, the edges stuck together lengthways with water. Place 2 mounds of rice (about 200g each) on the nori and spread evenly, leaving about 2cm of nori uncovered down one side.
Flip the nori so the rice is on the bottom side, and arrange avocado slices on top. Place lobster meat along the middle of the sheet.
Wrap the nori tightly around the lobster and avocado with the rice on the outside. Cover with a damp paper towel and gently shape the roll with a bamboo mat.
Place fig slices along the top, then cover with Wagyu slices. Sear the Wagyu evenly with a blowtorch and let it cool. Cover with cling wrap and bamboo mat, and press Wagyu firmly against the rice.
Take a sharp knife, dip it into a bowl of water and slice the roll into 8 pieces. Arrange sushi on a plate and drizzle with egg sauce. Garnish with gold flakes and red-veined sorrel.
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