What Are Arepas and How to Make Them

An arepa is a dish made from corn flour, salt, and water, you can prepare it roasted, baked, or fried, which gives it a unique flavor and texture, and because of its versatility, it can be combined with many different ingredients.

5-Minute Crafts shows you how to make arepas in a simple way and how to prepare the filling “reina pepiada,” named after Miss World, Susana Duijm.

What is an arepa

The arepa is a circular-shaped food, prepared with pre-cooked corn flour, which can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can fill it with meats, vegetables, and, in general, with any preparation of your choice. It is a dish that originated in both Venezuela and Colombia.

Step 1: Preparing the dough

What you’ll need:

  • 800 g precooked corn flour
  • 500 ml of water
  • 2 dashes of oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

Instructions:

1. In a container, mix water, a dash of oil, and a pinch of salt.

2. Add the corn flour slowly and knead, this will prevent lumps from forming.

3. Let it sit for approximately 5 minutes.

4. If the dough is still not smooth and firm, add a little more water or flour and knead.

5. Take a fistful of dough and roll it into a ball, repeat for the rest.

6. Flatten each ball into discs about 1 centimeter thick.

7. Add a splash of oil in the pan, spread it with a napkin, and let warm up over medium heat.

8. Place the arepas so that they have space between them and so they do not stick together.

9. Let them cook until golden brown and turn them over to brown on the other side.

Step 2: Making the filling

What you’ll need:

  • ½ white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig of fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Place the chicken breast in a pot with water, add the onion and garlic, and cook for approximately 30 minutes.

2. When the chicken is cooked, let it cool and shred it.

3. Cut the avocado and mash it. Add the lemon to prevent the avocado from oxidizing.

4. Add chicken, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper, to taste, to the mixture, and mix.

5. Cut the cilantro leaves into small pieces and add them.

6. Cut open the arepa, leaving one edge unopened so that the filling does not leak out, and add the filling.

Bonus: A list of Venezuelan arepas to prepare

  • Viuda: It is a roasted arepa, without filling.
  • Reina pepiada: Shredded chicken, avocado, and mayonnaise.
  • Sifrina: Reina pepiada but with grated yellow cheese.
  • Pelúa: Stuffed with shredded meat and yellow cheese.
  • Catira: Substitute chicken for the shredded meat in the pelúa.
  • Dominó: The filling is black beans with grated white cheese.
  • Pabellón: Shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, and grated white cheese.
  • Perico: Scrambled eggs with onion and tomato.
  • Rumbera: Baked pork leg, sliced, and grated gouda cheese.
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