If you’re new to making sushi, please see the Sushi Beginner’s Guide before getting started! This includes guides to all the basics, FAQ, and how to source ingredients. This site focuses on Americanized/Westernized sushi, which is distinct from traditional sushi found in Japan. Check out the Types of Sushi page to learn more!
The Philly Roll is a very common sushi roll that you can find at most sushi restaurants in the US. It contains salmon, cream cheese, and avocado. The name “Philadelphia Roll” refers to the popular cream cheese brand Philadelphia Cream Cheese. This is an indulgent roll, but you can control how much cream cheese you use and adjust it to your personal preference. Sometimes this roll is made with lox (cold smoked salmon) but typically it’s made with normal raw sushi quality salmon.
This is the classic version, but there are a number of fun variations on this site– linked below!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Don’t forget to check out the guides on Sourcing Fish and Sourcing Other Ingredients if you’re not sure where to find what you need! I include online product links for reference, but it’s typically much cheaper to purchase these items locally, so check out your local options!
- Make sure you’re using fish that is safe to eat raw (more info)
- Some sushi restaurants use lox (cold smoked salmon) in this roll. I prefer it with normal sushi quality salmon but if you love lox consider using that instead!
- Fluffy whipped cream cheese is a little easier to work with than normal cream cheese, but normal cream cheese also works well!
- I typically shape this into a strip using my hands as I apply it to the roll.
- The amount added is up to your personal preference! I typically use around 2 tbsp per roll.
- Slice the avocado into ~1/4″ thick pieces. You should use about ~1/6th of a medium avocado.
- It’s best to use a perfectly ripe avocado if you can. Ripe avocados will be slightly soft when pressed, but not mushy.
- I like to buy my avocados while they’re still hard, then transfer them to the fridge once they’re perfectly ripe. Avocados ripen much slower in the fridge.
- Sushi rice is prepared, medium grain rice that is seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. The seasoning added to the rice is what give it the distinctive taste and sticky texture.
- If possible, I strongly recommend picking up the proper kind of rice rather than using whatever rice you have on hand. Other varieties of rice (jasmine, basmati, etc.) will not turn out the same.
- Follow my recipe for Simple Sushi Rice before you begin making your sushi. You can find more information there on locating the proper ingredients.
- Nori is the seaweed wrapping used to hold together sushi rolls. It’s made from dried seaweed and has a mild, salty flavor.
- Nori is dry ingredient that can be stored in the pantry. After opening, store leftover nori sheets in an airtight bag with all the air pressed out to maintain freshness. Most packages contain a small white packet of desiccant (material that absorbs moisture), leave that packet inside when you reseal the package. If stored properly, nori should remain crisp for a month or so after opening, but over time moisture from the air will cause the nori to become stale. Using stale nori for your rolls is not ideal, so check on the freshness of your nori and pick up new packages as needed.
- Packages of nori vary a lot in quantity and price. I’ve tried out a variety of brands at different price points and have been happy with all of them. I don’t think you need to splurge on the more expensive brands, but I would suggest opting for packages with fewer sheets per package because large packs may go stale before you can use the entire thing.
- A Japanese grocery store (or other Asian grocery store) will have the widest selection of nori. You may be able to find nori in the “Asian foods” section of a large American grocery store, but you can also find nori online if needed (link1) (link2).
- Nori comes in a variety of sizes, so make sure you pick up full sheets (approximately 8″x7″). These sheets can be cut down smaller when making rolls (if desired). You can read more about this in the How to Make Sushi Rolls post.
Philly Roll (Philadelphia Roll)
- Cover the sheet of nori in a thin even layer of rice, filling all the way out to the edges. (click for guide)
- Flip the sheet of nori over so the rice is face down on a bamboo rolling mat that is wrapped in plastic. (click for guide)
- Arrange the fillings (salmon, avocado, and cream cheese) in even lines, 1 inch from the edge along the longer side of the nori sheet. (click for guide)
- Carefully and tightly roll up the roll. (click for guide)
- Place the plastic-wrapped rolling mat over the top of the roll and press the roll into a consistent shape. (click for guide)
- Place the roll on a cutting board and grab your sharpest knife. Run the knife under water for a second, then shake off any excess. Cut the roll into 8 equal pieces using a gentile sawing motion with the knife, running the knife under the water between every 2-3 cuts to prevent sticking. (click for guide)
- Plate the roll on your serving dish. (click for guide)
If you like this roll, you might also like…
Send me pictures of your creations — it’ll make my day! Message @CraftyCookbook on Instagram or tag me in a post! Please note, tagged posts are only visible to me if your account is public. Did you make any interesting changes or substitutions for this recipe? Tell me about them in the comment section below!
This site contains affiliate links.