When it comes to sushi, this Philadelphia Roll is one of our favourites. Also knows as a Philly Roll, it is a sushi roll stuffed with Philadelphia cream cheese, cucumber and smoked salmon. Really light and fresh, and adaptable too. Just a few ingredients and SO simple to make.
Homemade sushi is much easier to make than you might think and once you get the hang of the rolling, these Philadelphia sushi rolls are a breeze to make.
What is Philadelphia sushi?
Whilst Philadelphia isn't an ingredient that you would traditionally find in sushi, this is a Western style sushi variation of a maki roll. Stuffed with some Philadelphia cream cheese, smoked salmon and avocado, it is a sushi favourite around the world. Really light and fresh, and packed full of flavour and texture.
Why you will love it
- Easy - You might think sushi is hard to make, but these Philly Rolls are about as easy as it gets. All you need is a pan to cook the rice in and a sushi rolling mat too.
- Adaptable - This is a really easy sushi roll, with just a few fillings. However, you can easily adapt it with other fillings - more ideas below.
- Refreshing - This is a real summer favourite for us. A filling, but light, lunch and super refreshing too.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Nori - These are the sheets of edible seaweed that sushi is wrapped in. Choose a brand that is dark green in colour. You can find these in the world food aisle of most supermarkets.
- Sushi rice - You have to use sushi rice for the best results. Basmati or jasmine rice will not work. Follow our recipe for Sushi Rice for the best sticky rice. The measurements in this recipe are for cooked sushi rice.
- Cream cheese - Use Philadelphia full fat for the best flavour.
- Smoked salmon - Choose brightly coloured fresh smoked salmon.
- Cucumber - Traditionally you would use Japanese cucumber, which you can find in more Japanese supermarkets. However, any cucumber will work for this. If you don't like cucumber, you could just use avocado instead.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Philadelphia roll - Step by step
Prep: Cook your sushi rice according to our Sushi Rice recipe.
One: Lay a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat, shiny side down. Put the cooked sushi rice onto the nori and spread to cover ¾ of the nori.
Two: Carefully spoon the cream cheese along the centre of the rice. Lay the strips of cucumber and smoked salmon on top.
Three: Using a bamboo rolling mat, roll up from the bottom, tightly away from you (a). Leave a small amount of nori unrolled (b). Wet this part of the nori with water.
Four: Roll again to seal it.
Five: Dip a sharp knife into some water and then slice the roll. Dip the knife into water each time you make a cut. Slice the roll into 10 pieces.
What to serve with cream cheese sushi
This Philadelphia roll sushi is great for a light lunch, but they are also a great addition to a bigger sushi meal. Try them with some of these sushi recipes:
You could also serve it with an edamame salad and some pickled seaweed.
Of course some soy sauce, wasabi and ginger are a must served alongside sushi. But if you want something with a big more of a kick, then mix together some mayo and Sriracha to dip these maki rolls in.
We love dipping sushi in our Healthy Teriyaki Sauce too.
The variation options are almost endless here. Other ingredients that you can add to this Philadelphia maki include cucumber, pickled radish, carrot or bell pepper slices, crab sticks or some tofu.
These are meant to be thin rolls, so try not to add too many fillings otherwise you will end up with a much larger roll.
You can finish off the cucumber maki with a sprinkling of sesame seeds
It is best to eat sushi within 1-2 hours of it being made, as the rice will go dry and stale. However, if you do have any leftovers then it can be stored.
Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
For each nori sheet, which makes one sushi roll, you need 100g of cooked sushi rice.
Using both hands, slowly roll it with the bamboo mat pressing down gently and equally as you roll. The pressure will make it stick together.
We really would recommend getting a sushi rolling mat, and they are quite reasonable in shops or online. However, if you don't have one then you can use a flexible place mat instead. Just wrap it in clingfilm/serran wrap first.
More Japanese recipes
- 200 g (1 cups) Cooked sushi rice
- 2 sheet Nori
- 100 g (0.5 cups) Philadelphia cream cheese
- 60 g (2 oz) Smoked salmon - cut into thin strips
- 0.25 Cucumber - cut into thin strips
- Cook your sushi rice according to our Sushi Rice recipe.200 g Cooked sushi rice
- Lay a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat, shiny side down. Put the cooked sushi rice onto the nori and spread to cover ¾ of the nori.2 sheet Nori
- Carefully spoon the cream cheese along the centre of the rice. Lay the strips of cucumber and smoked salmon on top.100 g Philadelphia cream cheese, 60 g Smoked salmon, 0.25 Cucumber
- Using a rolling mat, roll up from the bottom, tightly away from you. Leave a small amount of nori unrolled. Wet this part of the nori with water.
- Roll again to seal it.
- Dip a sharp knife into some water and then slice the roll. Dip the knife into water each time you make a cut. Slice the roll into 10 pieces.
- This recipe calls for 200g of cooked sushi rice. To make this amount of cooked rice, you will need 70g of raw rice. If you are altering the serving size in the recipe card, divide the amount of cooked rice by 3 to get how much raw rice you will need.
- Make sure to wet the knife before making each cut. This prevents the rice from sticking to the knife.
- You could also make these inside out rolls by following the instructions for our Vegan Sushi recipe.
- You can finish the rolls off by sprinkling them with sesame seeds.
- Always place the nori shiny side down on the rolling mat. This is because the rice sticks better to the rough side and it looks better for presentation.
- With some nori brands, you might not be able to use water to seal the roll. You can use cooked rice grains as the "glue" instead, just squash a few grains across the nori where you want to seal it.
- Make sure the sushi rice is fully cooled before adding it to the nori, as the steam of the hot rice can cause the nori to go soggy.
- When handling the rice, use wet hands or a spoon, as it is very sticky.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.