The Best Arepas Recipe – How To Make Arepas

arepas

PHOTO: ERIK BERNSTEIN; FOOD STYLE: TAYLOR ANN SPENCER

Arepas, or cornmeal empanadas, predate the colonization of the Americas and are a prime example of indigenous culinary traditions that remained unchanged by Spanish influence. Hugely popular in Venezuela, Colombia, and Bolivia, variations of the arepa are found throughout the Latin American world, including Puerto Rican coconut arepas, Panamanian tortilla changas, Ecuadorian corn tortillas, Salvadoran pupusas, and Mexican gorditas. What all of these forms of cornmeal empanadas have in common is the warm comfort of home cooking and a delicious treat that is perfect for any time of day, often brimming with cheese or stuffed to the brim with a variety of fillings. , such as beans, meat, seafood, or vegetables.

Here we stick to a simple model of basic arepas with easy fillings, but feel free to customize them to your liking. Try the arepas stuffed with carnitas, roasted sweet potato or flank steak.

Just be sure to buy the particular type of precooked corn flour (not masa flour) sometimes labeled masarepa, flour arepa, or flour precooked. PAN flour is the most popular brand and can be purchased online if it’s not in your grocery store.

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Yields:

4


portions

Preparation time:

0

hours

10

minutes

Total Time:

0

hours

Four. Five

minutes

1


(15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and hot

1 C.

white cheese or grated mozzarella

Coriander leaves, to serve

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  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and salt to combine. Add water and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to hydrate for 10 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, about 1/2 cup (4 ounces) each. Roll dough into balls, then flatten between the palms of your hands to a disc 3″ wide and about 1/2″ thick.
  3. In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add 4 pieces of dough. Cover the skillet and cook until the bottoms are well charred, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and continue cooking, uncovered, until second side is charred, 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining tablespoon of oil and dough.
  4. Let cool slightly, then create a pocket in each arepa by cutting horizontally about three-quarters of the way through. Fill the pockets with beans, cheese, avocado and cilantro.

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arepas

PHOTO: ERIK BERNSTEIN; FOOD STYLE: TAYLOR ANN SPENCER

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