Arepas Venezolanas

Arepas are a Venezuelan staple. They are dense to the point of almost being creamy and make the perfect vessel for just about any filling. With only three ingredients, they are a wonderful, fool-proof, gluten-free bread. If you want to serve these as an appetizer, arepitas, just make 12-14 smaller balls out of the dough. Be sure to use masarepa, which is a precooked cornmeal. It might say “precocida” or “precooked” on the package. Regular cornmeal will not work for this recipe.

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You want to mix equal parts of the cornmeal and water. I used 2 cups each to get six big arepas. The were about 3 inches in diameter. You want to add salt to taste and mix until a dough forms. If it is too dry, add a little bit of water. Some people add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the dough. If you’re feeling indulgent, go for it!

Let your dough rest for 10 minuted before dividing it into balls. Take each dough ball and roll it between your pals then flatten into a patty. Mine were about 3/4 of an inch thick. Notice the cracks along the side of the arepa on the left. That means you need to add more water to the dough. Once you have formed the patties, pan fry them in a pre-oiled skillet over medium to medium-high heat until they are golden brown. Flip and brown the other side.

While you’re browning the arepas, preheat the oven to 400°. Once they are all browned, bake for 15 minues. Let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Slice and stuff with your favorite sandwich filling or jut gobble them up with some butter or plain!


 

Recipe:

  • 2 cups masarepa
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Combine masarepa, water, and salt to taste. Made a smooth dough.

Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into six pieces for large arepas or 12-14 pieces for arepitas.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

Brown the arepas on both sides. Make sure they don’t burn. If you’re making arepitas, you can skip the rest of the steps because these will cook fairly quickly.

While they are browning, preheat the oven to 400°.

Bake arepas for 15 minutes.

Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.


 

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