I’v been in love with the arepas since I first had my first one, back in the 2014. I still remember the sunny Sunday afternoon at the small restaurant Bululu Arepera in Paris. Since that moment I had this goal to find the best recipe of arepas. After two years of testing different techniques, here you have my best version of making arepas:
For the Arepas
- 2 cups pre-cooked cornflour (Harina P.A.N. is the best)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk
- 2 pinches of salt
- 2 teaspoons oil (divided)
For the filling
- some chicken leftovers (or black beans if you want it vegetarian, or sweet potatoes, or carnitas, or any other meat)
- some pickled red onions
- an avocado dressing (look for mine below)
- some chess
- some cilantro leafs
- tomatoes (or other wetly veges)
The avocado dressing
- 2 avocados
- 1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (combined)
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of one lime
- 3 tbls olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (it will b very salty but it will go very well once in the arepas)
- ½ cup pistachios (or other nuts )
Making the arepas
- Preheat the oven to 250°C.
- Mix the ingredients. Place the flour and a two pinches of salt in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers or a whisk to thoroughly combine them. Mix the warm water with the milk and slowly pour it over the flour.
- Knead the dough. Use your hands to knead the flour and water together to create a soft, pliable dough. Continue kneading until the dough has no more grainy lumps and can be rolled into a ball without falling apart. If the dough seems too wet, add a few tablespoons of flour and continue kneading. If the dough falls apart easily, add a tablespoon or two of warm water. Continue adding water until the dough has reached the correct texture.
- Shape the arepas. Take a handful of dough in your hands and shape it into a ball, then press it with your palms to form a large patty shape. It should be about 15mm thick and 100mm across, depending on how large you want your arepas to be. Place the first arepa on a baking sheet and continue shaping arepas until you run out of dough. (If you want to save the arepas to be cooked later, you may cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. You can freeze uncooked arepas, too. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and place them in a seal-able freezer container. They will keep this way for several months.)
- Fry the arepas. Heat a spoonful of oil in a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place a few arepas in the pan and let them fry until a crust forms on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip them over and fry on the other side until a golden brown crust has formed. Set them on a baking sheet and finish frying the remaining arepas.
- Bake the arepas. Once all the arepas have been fried and placed on a baking sheet, place them in the preheated oven. Bake them for 15 minutes. When you think they're ready, take them out of the oven and tap the top of the arepas. If they sound hollow - as if there is nothing inside - that means the arepas are ready.
- Slice the arepas. Use a sharp knife to slice the arepas in half lengthwise, then stuff with your favorite filling and enjoy.
Making the avocado dressing
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until incorporated. Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce. Add some water to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.
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