Philadelphia Roll is easy and fun to make at home. It is loaded with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, all rolled in nori sheet and sushi rice.
Homemade sushi rolls are cheaper and better than rolls at your favorite sushi restaurant. Learn how to make sticky rice for sushi and how to assemble Philadelphia rolls with this recipe.
What is a Philadelphia Roll
Philly rolls are a variety of maki rolls, the most popular rolls in sushi restaurants. Another name for these rolls is Japanese bagel rolls. You have probably tried them so many times. These rolls are usually made with smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber; rolled in a seaweed sheet and seasoned sushi rice. It is an inside-out-sushi roll, the nori together with the filling is on the inside and the rice (sometimes with smoked salmon topping) on the outside.
Philadelphia sushi roll was invented in North America in 1980s and got its name from the famous Philadelphia cream cheese brand.
What is in a Philadelphia Roll
This is a traditional sushi roll, the filling includes smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber or avocado. There are two types of Philadelphia rolls. You can fill it with cream cheese and cucumber, and top with thinly sliced smoked salmon or roll everything in a nori sheet and sticky sushi rice, then roll in sesame seeds.
How to make sushi rice
You can cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. We highly recommend to check the instructions on the package because different rice brands require different amount of water. We usually use 1:1, water to rice ratio. If you like softer rice, for every cup of rice, add 1 ½ cup of water. Be sure to use high quality short grain rice for the best results. And always rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
If preparing it on the stove, avoid opening the lid while it is cooking.
Once it is cooked, transfer to a bowl and let it cool down for 5-10 minutes. Stir in sushi vinegar when it is still warm. You can make it at home. Simply mix together 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, ½ tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
How to Make a Philadelphia Roll
- Cover the bamboo mat for sushi with a piece of plastic to prevent rice from sticking to the mat.
- Put half of the nori sheet on top of the mat (the shiny side faces down).
- Keep a bowl of water nearby when you are working with rice. Dip your hands in water (this will prevent rice from sticking to your hands. Spread the rice in an even layer over the nori. Flip it over. The rice faces down now.
- Place smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber on the nori.
- Roll away from you to make a log, applying some pressure to tighten up the roll.
- Spread the sesame seeds on the mat (covered with plastic) and roll the sushi roll.
- Cut each sushi roll into 7-8 pieces.
If you want to make rolls topped with salmon, check the instructions in the recipe card and the picture below will give you a better idea too.
Philadelphia Roll Calories
The Philadelphia roll has 320 calories and one piece has 40 calories which makes it the most caloric sushi roll. But, if you really love cream cheese and smoked salmon, it would be a great choice.
Best Cream Cheese for Philadelphia Rolls
Though, these rolls are made with Philadelphia branded cream cheese, any other brand will work well for this recipe. For those who watch calories, non-fat or low-fat cream cheese will be good alternatives.
Best Salmon for Sushi
Get high-quality smoked salmon for this recipe. It should have a bright color and doesn’t have a fishy smell. For the topping you’ll need to cut it into thin slices or strips for the filling.
Best Nori Sheets
Another key ingredient is nori. Good-quality nori sheets are black in color with a green hue. They are crisp and can be broken easily when they are fresh.
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