Philadelphia Rolls are filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, then rolled in nori seaweed sheet and sushi rice. In this recipe, you will learn how to make sushi rice, how to roll the sushi, and how to make delicious and creamy Philly roll sushi.
What is a Philadelphia roll?
Philadelphia roll sushi is a type of maki sushi or rolled sushi made by rolling smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber in nori seaweed sheet and seasoned rice. Also called Philly roll or Japanese bagel roll, it’s an inside-out sushi roll (Uramaki) where the rice is on the outside and the nori is on the inside, wrapping the filling.
Philadelphia roll sushi was created in the 1980s in North America, and the name comes from the Philadelphia cream cheese brand. As the combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese is often used on a bagel, Philly roll sushi is also called a Japanese bagel roll. It’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
What’s in a Philadelphia roll sushi?
Traditionally the fillings of a Philadelphia sushi roll include smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber.
After the sushi is rolled up in a seaweed sheet and rice, you can sprinkle sesame seeds evenly on top of the rice, adding more flavor to the sushi roll.
- Sushi rice: Use high-quality Japanese short-grain sushi rice for the best result.
- Smoked salmon: It’s best to choose a salmon that is bright in color and rich in flavor. Dull color means that it will be poor tasting and possibly not fully thawed out.
- Cream Cheese: It’s best to use Philadelphia cream cheese, but you can use any of your liking.
- Cucumber: You will only need half of a fresh cucumber of your liking, then cut it into ½ inch strips.
- Nori seaweed sheet: The best ones are those without any holes and are black in color with a slightly green hue.
- Sesame seeds: These add that bit of flavor your rolls are missing. You can place them on top as is or slightly brown them first in a skillet.
How do you make sushi rice
To make rice for sushi rolls, you’ll need to use less water than cooking the regular rice. The best water to rice ratio is 1:1 (or use 1.2 to 1 if you prefer softer rice). Use high-quality short grain sushi rice for this recipe.
Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt) to season the rice.
How to make Philly roll
For this recipe, the rice is on the outside, covering the nori and fillings. You’ll need half of a nori sheet for one roll.
- First lay out your bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap on top. This will keep the mat clean and avoid the rice from sticking to the mat.
- Place half of the nori sheet on top of the mat, shining side facing down.
- Evenly spread cooked sushi rice (about 3/4 cup) over nori.
- Flip the sheet and add the fillings to the middle of the nori sheet.
- Place your thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling. Roll the bamboo mat away from you and press the rice and filling together. Keep rolling until the ends meet.
- Spread toasted sesame seeds on top of the roll for some extra flavor.
You’ll need a sushi rolling bamboo mat to make the sushi for the best result.
Philadelphia roll calories
Philadelphia rolls have more calories than most sushi rolls as they have smoked salmon and cream cheese. One roll has about 320 calories and one piece has about 40 calories.
What’s the difference between Philadelphia and California roll?
While they both consist of sushi rice and nori seaweed sheets, the difference lies in what the rolls are stuffed with. A Philadelphia roll is stuffed with cucumber, salmon and cream cheese whereas a California roll has cucumber, imitation crab and avocado.
How to select nori sheets?
Best nori sheets have a black color with a slightly green hue. They should have the same thickness without any holes. The fresh ones are crisp and easy to break when folded in half.
What kind of smoked salmon to use?
Good smoked salmon has a rich flavor and bright color. If it’s very dense in color, it means it’s not thawed properly, and could have an unpleasant and mushy texture. You’ll need to cut them into narrow strips or roll it up before using them as fillings.
How to select cream cheese?
Traditionally Philadelphia cream cheese was used in this recipe, but any cream cheese would work. If you’d like to reduce the calorie intake, you can use low-fat or non-fat cream cheese.
Does Philadelphia roll have raw fish?
As smoked salmon is already cooked, Philadelphia roll doesn’t have raw fish.
Other Sushi Roll Recipes You’ll Love:
I hope you like this recipe. If you try it, please comment below and let me know how it turns out!
For Sushi Rice
For Philadelphia Roll
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 4 oz cream cheese (cut into ½-inch strips)
- 1/2 cucumber (cut into ½-inch strips)
- 2 sheets nori (seaweed sheet)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (you can toast it in a hot skillet for a few minutes for extra flavor)
- Cook Sushi Rice: Rinse the rice and add it to the rice cooker together with water. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (or the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt).
- Make Philadelphia Sushi Roll: Lay out the bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap on top (this will prevent rice from sticking to the bamboo).
- Place half of the nori sheet on top of the mat.
- Dip your hands in vinegar water* (this will prevent rice from sticking to your hands) and take about 3/4 cup of cooked rice. Evenly spread over nori.
- Flip so that rice is facing down.
- Fold smoked salmon into 1/2-inch strips.
- Place smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber on top of the nori.
- Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling.
- Roll the bamboo mat away from you and apply some pressure to tighten it up. Keep rolling until the ends meet.
- Remove the bamboo mat, and spread sesame seeds on to top of the roll.
- Cut each roll into 8 pieces. Serve and enjoy!
- * Tezu water for dipping hands: Mix together 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoon rice vinegar.
- To prevent your sushi roll from falling apart, you’ll need to squeeze the roll tightly while rolling. Try to tuck and pull the bamboo mat tightly.