My Family Recipe Rocks Episodes

Filipino Food in Brooklyn

Complete Episode: Filipino Food in Brooklyn
Joey Fatone cooks up a Filipino meal with a brother-sister duo that includes a killer cocktail, a traditional chicken and rice dish and a fried eggroll. It's so good, Joey can't stop dancing!
Joey is returning to his roots, visiting a brother-sister team in Brooklyn, New York, not far from where he grew up. Brooklyn's a melting pot of culture and diversity, so it's fitting that Joey's going to try two classic recipes today straight fom the Philippines.


Tomas De Los Reyes calls Brooklyn home, but his sister Yvonne on the other hand, refers to Brooklyn as her home-away-from-home. Most of the year, she lives in Bahia, Brazil, where she works as a yoga teacher. She comes back to New York a couple of month each year to work and see family.


Yvonne and Tomas are sharing two family recipes, one for Adobo and the other for lumpia. Both are traditional dishes common in Filipino households and at parties.


"It's comfort food," says Yvonne.


Tomas recently opened up a new restaurant called Jeepney, a Filipino gastro pub where he's the head mixologist. He started us off by showing us a drink recipe for his Ayala Avenue Cocktail, named for one of the busiest roads in the Philippine city of Makati. The recipe uses elderflower cordial, which has a bright taste, perfect for spring.The main ingredient is ampalaya - a bitter melon that resembles a cucumber which he uses in place of cocktail bitters.


"I can see myself sitting on a rocking chair, drinking this in the cool summer breeze," says Joey.


Next up, Yvonne teaches Joey how to make chicken adobo, which is sometimes called the unoffficial national dish of the Philippines. The dish starts off with garlic.


"Almost all Filipino dishes start off with garlic," says Yvonne. "Like 80 percent of them. Maybe I'm exaggerating."


Adobo is a cooking process in Filipino cuisine where meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. Yvonne says the average Filipino family makes this dish about once a week.


Next, Yvonne shows how to make lumpia, a Filipino eggroll. Inside the egg roll wrapper, there's ground beef or pork, onion, carrots, green beans and sprouts, rolled up and fried to perfection.


Rolling lumpia reminds Yvonne of her family and getting together in the kitchen with the women in the family and gossipping. It's a great way to get your kids involved, since it's fun and hands-on. Joey says he wants to make it with his kids.


"My daughter would have fun making these, I think," says Joey.


Our camera man, Jon Neely, got in on the action, even though he doesn't cook much, while Joey took over behind the camera.


"Just to let you know, I didn't even know how to roll a burrito until this year," Jon admits to Yvonne.


After all the lumpia are rolled, they're deep fried in oil.


Tomas returns with tequila for the whole crew to celebrate a meal well-cooked.


Yvonne explains that in Filipino households, a spoon and fork are set at the table, rather than the fork and knife. They use the fork to push the cuisine onto the spoon.


As they take a taste, Joey can't hold in his enthusiasm for the delicious food and starts dancing.


"I have no words for this," says Joey. "It's like a party in my mouth, and I'm dancing to the music."


Segment 1
Tomas shares a recipe for a drink that uses an ampalaya - a bitter melon - in place of cocktail bitters.
Ayala Avenue Cocktail
Here's a drink recipe that uses an ampalaya - a bitter melon - in place of cocktail bitters.
See Recipe
Segment 2
Yvonne de los Reyes shares her family recipe for Chicken Adobo, a traditional Filipino dish.
Chicken Adobo with Rice
Chicken Adobo, a traditional Filipino dish, is sometimes called the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.
See Recipe
Segment 3
Lumpia Filipino Egg Rolls
Lumpia Filipino Egg Rolls
These Filipino-style egg rolls are deep fried with meat and vegetables inside.
See Recipe
Segment 4
Heres a quick and fresh salad that goes great with traditional Filipino dishes.
Cherry Tomatoes with Green Onion Salad
This recipe for margaritas has an Italian twist -- limoncello.
See Recipe
Photo Gallery
Behind-the-Scenes Photos: Filipino Food
Go behind the scenes as Joey Fatone and TV journalist Virginia Cha cook it up in the kitchen and by the fire.
See Photo Gallery

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