WHAT IS A PHILADELPHIA ROLL?
Is there anything better than the flavor of savory smoked salmon and luscious cream cheese? It’s one of those quintessential food combos that walk hand in hand everywhere they go.
And it’s exactly that wonderful combination that makes the Philadelphia roll so dang delicious!
Now, as far as traditional Japanese sushi ingredients go, cream cheese isn’t anywhere close to that list, ha! However, when you mix cream cheese with smoked salmon, cucumber and Japanese seaweed (nori), you get a flavor combination so amazing that you can totally see why Philadelphia rolls are one of the most iconic sushi rolls in the West.
Fun fact: rolled sushi is called maki (or makizushi) in Japan.
But no matter what you call it, the most important ingredient in this delicious and creamy Philly roll is actually the rice!
WHAT IS SUSHI RICE?
Sushi rice is typically a premium Japanese short grain white rice, although medium grain rice is commonly sold as sushi rice as well.
And you may have noticed that the rice used in the salmon roll at your favorite sushi restaurant has a bit more flavor than you’d get if you were using plain white rice alone. There’s a reason for that (actually three reasons).
Now if you’re stumped on how to make sushi rice, don’t worry. We’ve got you!
Simply place your cooked Japanese rice in a bowl or container and add rice vinegar, sugar and salt (see ingredient amounts in the recipe tab). This trio of ingredients is used to deliver a balanced (but mild) sweet, tangy and savory element to the rice that compliments the fish – and pairs well with wasabi and soy sauce. In short, it’s used to give the bite a more well rounded and nuanced flavor.
Wondering how to roll sushi (maki) at home? Check out our easy, step-by-step instructions in the recipe tab – or you can watch the video for making California rolls on this page to get the general idea.
Now let’s get rolling! Itadakimasu!
Make a creamy, smokey and crunchy Philadelphia roll at home – and wow your dinner guests with your sushi-master moves!
- Place cooked rice in a container and add rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well.
- Wrap bamboo mat with plastic wrap and have a bowl of water mixed with a little rice vinegar on the side.
- Lay a nori sheet with the shiny side facing down on the bamboo mat. Add 1 cup of rice to the center of the nori sheet and wet your fingers with vinegar water.
- Spread the rice using your fingers, evenly across the nori sheet.
- Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds onto the rice evenly across.
- Turn the nori sheet over so the rice is facing down. Move the nori sheet close to the edge of the bottom of the bamboo mat.
- Cut smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber into stick size pieces and place horizontally on the nori. Each ingredient should form a line across.
- Grab the bottom edges of the mat with your thumbs and hold on to the toppings with your other fingers.
- Roll into a tight cylinder and lift the edges of the bamboo mat to prevent it from rolling into the roll together with the filling. The mat should look like the letter C from the side as you roll forward. Keep rolling forward using a little pressure and let go when the roll is done.
- Cut the roll in half and then into thirds.
- Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
Ingredients for sushi rice
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice
- 40 ml rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for rolls
- 4 oz Smoked Salmon
- 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 1 Cucumber
- 3 nori (dried seaweed) sheets
- Sesame seeds