Philadelphia Roll- Simple Recipe, Great Flavor!

Although the Philadelphia roll is fun and delicious, check out our other easy sushi recipes for beginners here or visit our entire library of sushi rolls sorted alphabetically!

What you need to know before ordering a Philadelphia Roll…

Philadelphia Roll Video

Philadelphia rolls are made of salmon (raw or cooked), cucumber, and cream cheese making it a simple and delicious sushi roll. A Philadelphia roll can have spicy mayo sauce on top to give it an extra kick and is frequently paired with soy sauce. This roll is typically raw but the raw salmon can be substituted for smoked or canned salmon. This roll is extremely popular for its price point at restaurants. Below you will find FAQ, ingredients lists, and an easy at home recipe!

Main Ingredients

  • Salmon

SAUCES & Toppings

  • Spicy Mayo Sauce (Optional)


  • Creamy Avocado
  • Cool Cream Cheese

Dipping Sauces


Philadelphia Roll 2 1

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What is a Philadelphia Roll?

A Philadelphia Roll is an inside-out sushi roll (meaning the rice is on the outside) that typically is made with smoked or raw salmon as the protein. Philadelphia roll ingredients also include cream cheese, cucumber, and spicy mayo sauce to give it an extra kick.

Thinly Sliced Salmon 2
Philadelphia Roll

What is the best way to serve and eat sushi?

When Serving Sushi:

Sushi is one of those fun meals that you will frequently see pop up on friends snapchat or instagram stories or whatever social media companies sharing application. Whether it is at a restaurant or in your own kitchen, sushi is extremely instagrammable. Sushi is very trendy and typically served at higher end restaurants, therefore there is a high likelihood that the group is either on a date night or out on the town and dressed accordingly! Lots of pictures are flying around on these kind of nights therefore the presentation of the sushi tends to get some notice!

Typically sushi is plated in a very eye catching and palatable pattern on plates that have good visual appeal, frequently made of melamine in traditional japanese fashion. Restaurants tend to make a big deal of the presentation. Some ways sushi is presented can be on a small wooden boat brought out to the table or even lit on fire!

Sushi Boat
Sushi Boat
When Eating Sushi:

Experienced sushi eaters know that sauces can make or break your eating experience. There are two ways that sauces can be eaten with sushi:

Sauces on or in the sushi roll

This tends to be sauces that are either mixed in with other ingredients or added as a topping. Examples of this are spicy mayo sauce which is frequently mixed in with shredded imitation crab or drizzled on top of the sushi roll in patterns that are visually appealing. Some other sauces that are put on top or in the sushi roll are unagi eel sauce and teriyaki sauce.

Sauces that the sushi roll can be dipped in

The first sauce and most popular that probably comes to mind is soy sauce. (I have linked my favorite soy sauce to the right or below on mobile). Soy sauce is cheap and can be found at any grocery store or restaurant. Soy sauce is also an ingredient in numerous other recipes, not just sushi or even japanese based recipes.

Soy sauce can be given a little extra heat by mixing wasabi into the soy sauce.

Philadelphia Roll FAQ and Tips

Is a Philadelphia roll raw?

The Philadelphia roll is considered a sushi roll with raw fish since it contains raw salmon, however the raw salmon can be substituted with canned or smoked salmon to make it a fully cooked sushi roll!

What fish is in a Philadelphia roll?

A Philadelphia roll’s main fish is salmon, which is typically raw although can be substituted for smoked or canned salmon.

How many calories are in a Philadelphia roll?

Is a Philadelphia roll spicy?

What other sushi rolls are like a Philadelphia roll?

What is a Philadelphia roll made of?

Smoked, Canned, or Raw Salmon: Finding sushi grade salmon can pose a challenge to at home sushi makers. Raw salmon for sushi must be designated safe for consuming raw, do not assume all salmon can be eaten raw! With that in mind, alternative options for using raw salmon are smoked or canned salmon. My preference is smoked salmon which still has a great fresh flavor. Both of these options are easy to find in your grocery store.

Sushi Rice On Nori
Sushi rice on nori
Thinly Sliced Salmon
Thinly sliced salmon

Nori Sheets (Seaweed): Sheets of dried seaweed, otherwise called nori, are what are used to align the guts of the sushi roll. Nori is very healthy for you, and has relatively little flavor. Sheets of nori can be found at most grocery stores like Walmart, Kroger, or HEB or can even be ordered off of Amazon.

Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is not typically something that someone would think about when eating sushi but it sure is delicious on the Philadelphia roll. It provides a cool, mellow flavor that is perfect when combined with the salmon. In addition to sushi, cream cheese can be found commonly as a spread on a bagel or in a kitchen where sweet, savory cooking is occurring.

Cream Cheese In A Bowl
PCF01J Homemade Low Fat Cream Cheese Spread in a Bowl

Philadelphia Roll Ingredients

Cooking Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife
Bamboo Mat Inside Bag

Cooking Instructions

Making the Roll
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See our printer friendly recipe version below!

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Philadelphia Roll 2

Philadelphia Roll- Simple Recipe, Great Flavor!

Smoked Salmon and cream cheese! Add an easy-to-make spicy mayo sauce for a little kick!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese
Servings 4 Rolls


  • Bamboo rolling mat inside a gallon bag
  • cutting board and a sharp knife


  • 2 Cups Cooked Sushi Rice (See below link in notes for easy sushi rice instructions)
  • 1/4 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 4 Half Sheets Nori (See below link in notes for folding instructions)
  • 8-12 oz Smoked Salmon
  • 1 small Cucumber Sliced into matchsticks
  • Cream Cheese Sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Spicy Mayo Sauce (This is optional and gives a little kick, see below link in notes for easy recipe)


  • Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked sushi rice and mix together.
  • Place your bamboo rolling mat inside a plastic gallon bag (trust us, this makes clean up much easier, all you have to do is throw out the bag!)
  • Place one half sheet of nori on the rolling mat (remember we tore the full sheet in half hamburger style) with the rough side facing up.
  • ONLY ONCE THE RICE HAS COOLED, grab a handful of rice and cover the rough side of the nori leaving a 1 inch gap at the top without any rice. If using sesame seeds, sprinkle them over the rice. Grab the nori by the top, and flip it over so the rice is against the bamboo rolling mat and the 1 inch gap is now on the bottom.
  • Starting 1/3 of the way up from the bottom begin to align the "guts" of the sushi roll in a horizontal line beginning with the rolled up smoked salmon. The horizontal row of smoked salmon should be about half an inch to an inch thick all the way across the nori.
  • Above the smoked salmon, add a row of cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Grab both the sushi mat and the nori and roll the mat over from the bottom until the empty space we left at the bottom is touching the other side, squeezing down on the roll to make it nice and tight and allowing to hold its shape.
  • If not using the spicy mayo sauce, you can skip this step.
    Once the roll is formed, it is time to add the spicy mayo sauce! There are two ways to do this:
    1) The easy way is to just spread it across the top of the roll with a fork
    2) The "Instagram-worthy-way" is to put the spicy mayo sauce in a small bag, cut off the corner and then push the sauce out of the bag while doing zig-zags up and down the roll.
  • Place the roll on a cutting board and get a knife and damp paper towel. Cut the toll into 8 equal sizes (easiest if you start by cutting the roll in half). Before you make each cut DAMPEN THE KNIFE WITH THE PAPER TOWEL or else the roll will fall apart when you slice through it.
  • Serve with soy sauce, take some pictures for your friends, and enjoy!



-Folding nori hamburger style
-Popular spicy mayo recipe.
-Quick & easy sushi rice
Keyword beginner sushi, beginner sushi roll, perfect sushi rice, Philadelphia roll, Sapicy Mayo for Sushi, sushi, sushi roll

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