Philadelphia Crab Sushi Roll / Philly Roll

Philadelphia Roll also known as Philly roll derives from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese brand. Cream cheese is not only for bagel any more.

This type of sushi is generally made with lox (smoked salmon), cream cheese and cucumber. My variation is to switch the smoked salmon with cooked crab, as not all choose raw or partly cooked meat. The cream cheese and cooked crab meat combination is incogitable with its creamy texture. Crisp lettuce will add the slight crunch along with the cucumber that is added to this Philly roll. 


  1. Sushi Rice - 1 cup (Homai or California Calrose)
  2. Nori/Roasted seaweed - 1 pack (1 half sheet for each roll) 
  3. Vinegar water - (1/4 cup rice vinegar + 1 cup water) for dipping your hands.
  4. Crab - 2 sticks per roll (Cooked and Shelled) 
  5. Philadelphia Cream Cheese - 1 block - Check notes
  6. Cucumber - 1 (peeled, seeded and cut into match sticks/strips)
  7. Baby romaine hearts (lettuce) - 1(washed and wiped clean) Check notes.
  8. Avocado - 1 (optional) - pitted, peeled and sliced into strips. Check notes. 
  9. Roasted white sesame seeds - 1 tablespoon
  10. Wasabi - to serve
  11. Soy sauce (low sodium) - to serve
  12. Sushi ginger - to serve
  13. Spicy mayo  sauce - to serve . (Homemade - 3 parts of Vegenaise or Mayonnaise and 1 part of Sriracha hot sauce mixed together.) 
  1. Bamboo sushi rolling mat - 1 
  2. 1 Gallon ziplock bag or cling wrap (optional)

Yields: 3 Rolls

Cuisine: Japanese
Level: Medium

You might be interested in my Tricolored California Sushi Roll as well.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0 = 1 Roll
Amount Per Serving
calories 261
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g9 %
Saturated Fat 3 g13 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 10mg3 %
Sodium 133 mg6 %
Potassium 52 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 47g16 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 5 g10 %
Vitamin A7 %
Vitamin C3 %
Calcium4 %
Iron1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Method (Step By Step):

Check my Sushi Rice for detailed steps and guideline to cook perfect rice to make sushi. Remember to work when its warm.

Cover the sushi mat using a plastic wrap or place in a gallon ziplock bag to keep the mat clean. Place it on a flat surface horizontally.

Fold a nori sheet by half and press the seam to break the sheet into two equal parts. We will work with just one half nori sheet for each sushi roll.

Dip your hands in the vinegar-water and remove excess water by tapping on a damp cloth each time you handle the sushi rice being sticky.

Take about a cup of rice and spread it on the nori sheet evenly. Now is the time to flip the sheet (optional), only if you do not like the nori on the outside. Assemble all the required condiments. 

Align lettuce, cucumber, cream cheese and crab meat across the center of the rice/nori sheet.

Using the rolling mat as a guide start rolling tightly, use your fingers to tuck in the fillings to hold in place. 

You will have to keep rolling firmly a few times to make it into a log.

Generously sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds on the sushi roll mat and roll the sushi log to cover evenly.

For a clean cut I prefer to wrap my sushi log in a cling/plastic wrap. Dip the knife each time in the vinegar-water and wipe clean for a clean cut. Cut the edged off to look even on the sides.

Now find the center of the roll and cut into to halves. From there on eye ball and make 6 equal pieces in all. Make sure you don't remove or move the sushi. 

Once its all cut, using the rolling mat I like to give them another tight hug to retain its shape.

Gently remove the plastic/cling wrap and serve with wasabi, soy sauce (low odium) and pickled ginger.

For presentation, I have thinly sliced avocado and spread it evenly on the sushi roll. You might want to use the bamboo sheet to give it a gentle hug for the avocado to set in place (which I failed to remember). Drizzle the top with creamy spicy mayo sauce.

  • Cut avocados only when ready to use to retain color or sprinkle lemon juice. 
  • Purchase only Philadelphia brand cream cheese for best quality and only in brick form not tub.
  • Baby Romaine hearts (lettuce) is added for some color and texture. Use the smallest leaves that will be found in the center to fit in your sushi roll. 

Enjoy making and relishing these rolls just like I did!


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