Updated: Aug 2
Total: 35 - 45 minutes
Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes
Rolling: 5 minutes
During sushi classes, I’m often asked, "What do you think of Philly Roll? Isn't it unusual to use cream cheese in sushi?" It seems that the idea of "authentic sushi" is deeply ingrained in the minds of non-Japanese individuals.
Let me clarify: Modern Japanese cuisine encompasses various ingredients and flavors. Japanese people eat a diverse range of foods, sometimes even more than many Westerners consume. Did you know that there are more Italian flags than Japanese flags displayed in Japan? Japanese chefs operate numerous Italian and pizza restaurants, hanging Italian flags outside their establishments. This demonstrates that Japanese culinary preferences go beyond what is traditionally associated with Japanese food, including the use of cheese.
This brings us to the Philadelphia Roll, aka Philly Roll. Yes, the Philly Roll is not considered "authentic" sushi as it didn't originate in Japan; it is an American invention. However, inside-out rolls (rice out) are also an American invention. It surprises me that many people are unaware of this fact, so I continue to share articles and recipes to shed light on the topic.
While some people in my sushi classes may find cheese in sushi unconventional or offensive to Japanese culinary traditions, I believe the Japanese are open to incorporating various ingredients to advance their culinary repertoire. The spirit of kaizen, the pursuit of continuous improvement, is deeply rooted in sushi and Japanese cuisine.
So, when I'm asked about using cream cheese in sushi, I respond, "Great idea! Smoked salmon and cream cheese go well together."
No Sushi Salmon? Use Smoked Salmon Instead:
If sushi-grade salmon is not readily available, you can use smoked salmon, which can be found in most supermarkets in the US and worldwide.
Cucumber or No Cucumber?
Adding cucumber is optional. Since cucumber has a high water content, it adds a refreshing taste that complements the richness of smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Use Plastic When Placing Fish Eggs:
To prevent fish eggs from spreading all over the cutting board, use plastic wrap. This will keep your roll clean and save you cleaning time.
INGREDIENTS (for one roll):
200g (1 cup) Sushi Rice
1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet
50 g Smoked Salmon or Sushi Grade Salmon
2 -3 pcs Avocado, sliced ½ inch thick
20g Cream Cheese
20g Masago or Tobiko Fish Egg
Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat
(How to spread rice for Inside Out Rolls, Step 3 - 12)
Prepare Sushi Rice using this recipe.
Moisten the cutting board by wiping it with a wet towel.
Place the half sheet of nori horizontally, with the rough side facing up.
Moisten your hands with water.
Take a tennis ball-sized amount of sushi rice, approximately 200g.
Place the sushi rice on the top left corner of the nori, shaping it like a potato.
Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure to spread the sushi rice horizontally.
With your right hand, make a "U" shape to guide the sushi rice, covering the top half to 2/3 of the nori.
Rhythmically turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the nori with rice, leaving 1/2 inch/1cm blank at the top.
Clean your hands with a wet towel and dip your fingers in the water.
Using your fingertips, apply pressure to spread the rice to the bottom, from the left, center, and right.
Spread the sushi rice to the top and corners, ensuring the entire nori sheet is covered evenly.
Flip the nori with sushi rice, so the nori is facing up.
Place the smoked salmon, avocado slices, and cream cheese on top of the rice using a spoon.
Pick up the bottom edge of the nori and roll it like a yoga mat, ensuring the bottom edge lands below the top edge.
Seal the roll, then roll it another 90 degrees forward.
Place a sushi rolling mat (Makisu) over the roll and squeeze gently.
Place plastic wrap on the cutting board and spread the Masago fish eggs using a spoon.
Flip the roll and place the top part on the fish eggs, turning it so that the plastic-covered section is facing up.
Wrap the roll once more with the sushi rolling mat.
Cut the roll into eight pieces, starting from the center and cutting halves.
Remove the plastic wrap from the roll.
Plate and serve.
(Philly Roll, Steps 14 - 22)
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