Who, Where, What is a Philadelphia Roll?
Believe it or not, the Philadelphia roll gets its name from the city of Philadelphia Pennsylvania where it was first created. Contrary to popular belief it is not named after the brand of cream cheese used in the roll. A woman by the name of Madame Saito who was famous for her sushi created a sushi spot in one of Philidelphia’s most prominent indoor farmers markets, Reading Terminal. Madame Saito had many Jewish customers and she wanted to create something for them reminiscent of a lox sandwich. Hence the perfectly crafted flavor combination of the smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumbers!
Sushi Rice Perfection According to Morgan Freeman
As we like to say, perfect sushi starts with perfect rice. If you want to learn how to make outstanding sushi rice check out our perfect sushi rice recipe narrated by Morgan Freeman. Listen to the soothing ASMR sounds of Morgan Freeman gently walking you through the steps to sushi rice perfection. We’ll warn you now that his voice is so comforting you may end up listening to the narration multiple times just to relax and forget about the rice.
Our Philadelphia roll recipe is simple to make and insanely delicious if we do say so ourselves. For the fish, you can choose to go with the classic smoked salmon to stay true to the Philadelphia roll roots, or you can use fresh raw sushi-grade salmon. Whatever floats your sushi boat!
When it comes to the creamy cream cheese element of the recipe feel free to go with your gut. Whatever cream cheese brand you love is what you should use. All that’s left is the crisp refreshing cucumber and you’re ready to assemble!
Finessing the Philly
Once you have the rice at the ready and all of your other mise en place in place it’s time to create your sushi masterpiece. Building the Philadelphia roll is very similar to some of the other rolls like the California roll or the spicy tuna roll. The uniqueness lies within the different ingredients and not so much the assembly and rolling technique.
First things first, break those nori sheets in half like you’re splitting a wooden board in karate! As is customary, place the smooth side of the nori face down with the rough side facing up. Then evenly distribute the perfectly cooked sushi rice across the nori. Once the rice has been uniformly laid out flip it on over and let the filling begin!
Layer the sliced salmon and cucumber followed by the luscious cream cheese. You’ll want the filling to go end to end on the nori to ensure every bite will have an equal amount of ingredients. As tempting as it is to load a ton of ingredients in the roll, overfilling will ultimately end in an unclosable catastrophe. The result would be more like a taco than a sushi roll. Now that we think about it, a sushi taco sounds pretty tasty. A recipe for another day perhaps!
Just Roll With It!
Let’s begin rolling so we can start eating! Encapsulate the sushi roll with the bamboo mat lined with plastic wrap. Push the mat forward over the roll, press down to tighten it, and move forward in a smooth motion to completely form the roll. For any additional rolling guidance check out our article on how to roll inside out sushi. Garnish the finished Philly roll with sesame seeds, slice into six or eight even pieces with a sharp wet knife, and enjoy! Garnish the plate with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce for good measure.
How to make Philadelphia sushi roll at home
- 1 cup Sushi rice Cooked & Seasoned
- 2 sheets Nori
- 120 gr Sushi grade raw salmon (or smoked salmon)
- 100 gr cream cheese
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1 tsp Sesame seeds
Prepare sushi rice
Cut salmon, and cucumber to 1 cm (or 1/2 inch) thin strips
Break nori sheet in half, and cover it with rice. Flip the nori and arrange the filling (Salmon, cucumber and cream cheese) on top of the nori.
Roll using bamboo mat keeping it firm and even
Sprinkle some sesame seeds
Cut in 6 or 8 even pieces
Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and gari