Philadelphia Roll learn to make Philadelphia Roll sushi with step-by-step directions and photos! Easy and delicious!
A Philadelphia Sushi Roll
Philadelphia Sushi Rolls, also called Philly Rolls, are when the perfect combination of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber are all rolled up together to make one of the most delicious sushi rolls ever created – that flavor combination of the smokey salmon and smooth cream cheese are a match made in heaven (see also: Ultimate Smoked Lox Bagels). Sushi chefs spend years perfecting the art of making sushi and, let’s be honest, you and me aren’t at that level BUT sometimes it is so fun to sit down and make your own! I have been making my own sushi for about 10+ years so I am excited to finally put my own experience into writing – this is clearly an Americanized version of traditional Japanese sushi-making and if you want to truly enjoy the authentic version head out and find yourself a talented sushi chef at a local restaurant!
History of Sushi
Want to dig a little more into the history of sushi – here is a great article!
Philadelphia Roll Ingredients
- nori seaweed sheets – these are the seaweed sheets that hold the rolls together – put them on the inside or out.
- sushi rice – we love this one! Made with short grain sushi rice, water, seasoned rice vinegar, a touch of sugar and pinch of salt this perfect sushi rice has the perfect sticky texture every time and if you need an easy tutorial on how to make it you should checkout this post!
- cream cheese – option to use regular or dairy free depending on your preference – feel free to try a jalapeno cream cheese for an extra kick! You could also try this Scallion Cream Cheese!
- smoked salmon or lox – a traditional component for a philadelphia roll.
- cucumber – cut into matchsticks these are perfect for a little green crunch on the inside.
- soy sauce or coconut aminos – this will be for dipping pieces of your roll once it is ready to eat.
- Other add-ins: you could also add in some avocado if you want!
Sushi Making Options
There are a few different ways to make sushi – a standard sushi roll (shown in the images below), an inside-out sushi roll, or a sushi hand roll. All options are delicious and pretty easy to make once you have all your ingredients ready to go. Below you can see the process for making a standard sushi roll with the nori sheet on the outside. An inside-out roll is when the rice is on the outside and you can find the instructions in the recipe card below. A sushi hand roll is also a great option and we have a wonderful tutorial that you can check out if you want to try it.
How To Make A Philadelphia Roll
Begin by making your sushi rice.
Then you will get your bamboo sheet and place the nori sheet on top, shiny side down. Then use a spoon to spread a thin layer of sushi rice on top. Next, you can place your filling ingredients about an inch up from the bottom.
Lift the bottom of the nori sheet up over the filling ingredients.
Use the bamboo sheet to start rolling up the sushi roll – try to keep this process as tight as possible without squeezing too tight where the filling starts coming out.
Make sure you pull the bamboo sheet out slightly as you go so that it doesn’t get rolled up inside the sushi roll.
Keep this tuck & pull process going until the entire sushi roll has been rolled up, nice and tight.
You will have a nice sturdy sushi roll!
Use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces. Tip: keep a bowl of water nearby (preferably with warm water) to dip your knife into to help keep it clean – this will help making clean cuts.
Other Sushi Recipes You Might Like
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Philadelphia Roll – learn to make Philadelphia Roll sushi with step-by-step directions and photos! Easy and delicious!
- 1 nori sheet
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sushi rice
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese (regular or dairy-free) (approx. 2-4oz cream cheese)
- 4 slices smoked salmon or lox (cut into strips or small pieces)
- 8 pieces of cucumber, julienned
- soy sauce or coconut aminos for serving
- Place a bamboo sheet down. Place nori sheet on top, shiny side down (rough side up).
- Using the back of a spoon, spread approx. 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sushi rice across the nori sheet leaving the top inch or so empty. The rice should be pretty flattened.
- Place your cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber slices in the middle of the nor sheet. Don’t go too crazy with the filling or it will end up popping out the ends if it is too full.
- Using both hands, pick up the edges of the nori sheet closest to you and fold over the filling ingredients; tucking the nori sheet around the ingredients. Pick up the bamboo sheet and fold over as well (but don’t tuck all the way around).
- While pressing firmly down on the sushi roll, being pulling the bamboo sheet away from your body and rolling the sushi. Then stop and wrap your hands around the roll pressing down firmly to create a solid roll. Pull away from your body again with the bamboo sheet then stop again and press down. Continue doing this until you have a fully formed roll. See pictures above.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 1 inch thick pieces.
- See notes below for instructions on an Inside Out Roll (where the rice is on the outside of the roll instead of on the inside).
- Inside Out Rolls: to make an Inside Out Philadelphia Roll place a piece of parchment paper down and then put your nori sheet on top. Cover with rice leaving the top inch empty. Feel free to sprinkle with sesame seeds. Carefully pick up the piece of nori and flip it over so that the rice-free section is now closer to you. Place your ingredients towards the center of the nori sheet. Lift up the edge of the nori sheet closest to you and tuck around ingredients. Lift up the bamboo mat and fold over as well. Start pulling the bamboo away from your body as the nori sheet rolls around the ingredients. Then stop and apply gentle pressure to create a roll. Continue pulling/rolling with the bamboo mat and then apply pressure until you have a fully formed sushi roll. Cut into 1 inch pieces with a very sharp knife. See our Guide on How to Make Sushi for step-by-step photos of making an Inside Out Roll.
- Make is spicy: feel free to add a bit of wasabi to your roll to add a bit more kick!
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