Long Time ago I used to date this guy from Venezuela and I travelled Caracas for a holiday.
When I was there I tried this very simple but pretty delicious street food: Arepa. It was a soft bum, something in between bread and a pancake, most of the time filled with pulled pork and eaten for breakfast.
Funny thing is I asked my ex-boyfriends Mum how to make it and she replied saying it was very hard so she could not teach me and I simply forgot. After fifteen years, I met this lovely Colombian (Arepa is also very popular in Colombia) Lady in the community centre I cook as a volunteer and she finally taught me how to prepare them and in fact they are very easy to make… I guess I was a victim of mother in law jealousy crisis…. Anyway, now you can follow the recipe below and leave me your opinion – was it a “monster in law trick” or is it really hard? 🙂
Arepa (South American White Corn Cakes)
1 cup of warm water
Salt to taste
Oil to grease the skillet
To start you will need a package of white corn meal, Harina Pan.
Just put water and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add the Harina Pan to water mixing with your hands until it is firm enough to roll into a ball, still soft but not sticky. You may not use the whole 1 cup of Harina PAN.
Heat up a heavy skillet over medium – high heat. Add just a little bit of oil, just enough to grease the skillet.
Roll the dough in balls and pat each one between your palms forming disks of about 1-1.5cm tick and 7-8cm wide.
Place the Arepas in the skillet when it is smoking hot. Cook it for a couple of minutes, turn to medium heat and cook for about 10 min, turning it as needed so both sides will be slightly golden brown.
How to eat it:
Carefully open the Arepas with a knife – it will be slightly creamy inside. Fill it with whatever your imagination conjures and enjoy it!!!
For making an Arepa like the one below you will need one recipe of my Pork Belly that you can check clicking here. Pull the pork meat and set aside some pork crispy skin.
Fill the warm Arepa with one slice of cheddar cheese, the pulled pork, top it with fresh Avocado, fresh diced tomatoes and sriracha sauce. Garnish with fresh coriander and crispy pork skin. Serve it open like in the photo.