Do you know what’s in this roll??
A Philadelphia roll is a makizushi with rice on the outside instead of nori (dried seaweed). Inside the Philadelphia roll, it has smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber. It can also contain other types of fish or vegetables. As a Western-inspired roll, the ingredients are based on the American market. At our restaurant, we top the rolls with a sweet and salty eel sauce.
But why is it called a “Philadelphia roll”?
The Philadelphia roll was made by a Japanese woman named Madame Saito who owned a sushi bar in Philadelphia called Asakura. In 1983 she and her husband purchased a new restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown and named it Tokyo Center. This restaurant became widely popular for authentic Japanese food. It was a three-story building that also had a cooking workshop space for classes, a kimono tailor, and Philadelphia’s first karaoke bar. With this success, Saito opened another sushi bar, this time at Reading Terminal Market. At this restaurant, Philadelphia’s mayor asked Saito to create a roll that represented Philadelphia. She thought about her non-Japanese regular customers. Most happened to be Jewish.
Jewish roots inpiring the Philadelphia roll.
The first ingredient she thought of was lox, which is a fillet of brined salmon that can be eaten smoked or non-smoked that is usually eaten on a bagel with cream cheese and cucumber.
Thus, Saito made a roll that emulated this. This became a hit, especially to those who were just starting to try out sushi. It was also popular for the use of Philadelphia cream cheese.
Before I tried this roll, I thought it wouldn’t be good, but it actually tasted pretty good. Smoked salmon and cream cheese are really good combinations.
Try it out!
Here at Ten Sushi, we have Philadelphia rolls…