Arepas (ah-ray-pahs) are corn pockets filled with different combinations of delicious savoury treats. They are eaten mainly in Venezuela and Colombia as an earthy and ready to go snacks.
- 2 cups cornmeal (pre-cooked white corn flour)
- 1 1/4 – 2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal and salt. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the boiling water and mix with a wooden spoon to form a mass. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once rested, using wetted hands, form balls of dough out of about 1/4 cup of dough and press to form a cake about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. If the dough cracks at the edges, mix in a little more water and then form the cakes. The AREPA needs to be thick enough that it can be sliced and stuffed like a pocket. An approximate size is about ½” thick and 4½ ” in diameter. The edges of the AREPA need to be sloped down instead of flat, straight edges.
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the patties, a few at a time, to form a light brown crust on one side, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side.
- When all the patties have been browned, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they sound lightly hollow when tapped. Serve immediately.
Fillings: Split the arepas in half when finished and scoop out a little of the soft dough filling. Stuff with your chosen filling.
- Reina Pepeada: chopped chicken, avocado, and mayonnaise mashed together.
- Arepa de Perico: scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions.
- Arepa de Pabellón: shredded, seasoned meat and black beans.