Nov 21, 2018

Philadelphia Roll...Almost (with Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Avocado)

The true Philadelphia roll might be calling for smoked salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese, but there can be some variations. Instead of smoked salmon, I used fresh sashimi grade salmon instead, also swapped out cucumber with ripe avocado. But I'm not worrying too much about the ingredients, it's the rolling action that can get quite tricky. Sometimes the fillings are falling out, or the sushi shape is not holding tightly. Well, it takes some practice, just make sure to have someone (or yourself) on site to help vanishing the not-so-perfect food. Nom nom nom.

Philadelphia roll -


  • 1/2 cup sushi rice (or short grain rice)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Some sushi grade salmon
  • Some cream cheese
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Some nori sheets
  • Some light soy sauce (to serve)


Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Make sure the sugar and salt have been fully dissolved. 

Cook the rice like usual, but once ready, fluffy the grains with pre-mixed seasonings. Try to fan and fluff the grains at the same time, keep cool till temperature drops and ok to handle by hand. 

Pre-cut the cream cheese and salmon into strips. Remove the pit and scoop out the avocado. Try to cut into similar shape.

Wrap the bamboo mat with plastic wrap, it'll prevent rice from sticking all over and easy cleaning afterward. 

Lay one sheet of nori on top. Wet both hands with pre-boiled/drinkable water and spread some rice over nori.

Place the salmon, cream cheese, and avocado on one side.

Grab both the mat and the nori sheet, roll over the fillings, like surrounding the fillings, and squeeze to firm up the round shape of the sushi roll. Release and keep rolling till the end and squeeze again to firm up the shape. 

Transfer the roll to a cutting board and slice to serving pieces using a very sharp knife. Otherwise the fillings can get squeezed out without a clean cut. 

Serve with light soy sauce.

Sometimes I also make the rolls but only with cream cheese, regular rice, and nori sheet. Don't even bother to make the grains into full on sushi rice. It's like my simple afternoon treat before dinner.

By the way, making sushi rolls can be quite a hassle in the beginning. Check out some videos online and see how people roll up sushi if there's any doubt. Otherwise, trial and error always work, use less rice and fillings to begin with help too. Also make sure to have a little helper to make all the not too good looking ones disappear! 

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