Arepas are the best. They are fried, gold and you can stuff them with a variety of fillings that will make your barriguita and corazoncito happy. Anything from chorizo and cheese to chicken and avocado to a whole variety of delightful and colorful veggies, there is literally nothing that wouldn’t taste better inside or on top of an arepa. There is the perception that making these fried, golden pieces of happiness at home is difficult — we’re here to tell you that it’s not. They are actually extremely simple to make (and very freezer-friendly if you’re making large batches for long-term eats). Below we’ve included a super delicious arepa recipe that will keep you coming back for more.
Vegetarian Arepa Recipe with by Food52
- 2 cups masarepa, P.A.N. harina blanca, or any other pre-cooked corn meal or corn flour.
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 3 cups Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 plantains, either cut into rounds or cut into half width-wise and then into 1⁄4-inch strips
- 1 splash of vegetable oil
- 1 ripe avocado, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, cored and finely diced (optional)
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
- Mix all of the arepa dry and wet ingredients in a bowl until they are combined, and let sit for minimum of 15 minutes.
- As arepa masa rests in a bowl, begin work on the plantains. Heat up a large pan over medium heat, once heated add enough oil to pan as to create a thin layer that covers bottom of pan. Begin frying plantains and salt them as you go. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Place fried plantains on a plate with a paper towel and allow to drain.
- Remove plantain frying oil from large pan, but allow for pan to remain a bit greased. Add beans, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté until cooked. Then remove beans from pan and place into a bowl.
- Take all the elements to make guacamole, mash and mix in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- Take arepa dough, and begin to make small rounds (about 1/4 to 1/2 inches in thickness) and set aside. Make sure that dough rounds do not have any cracks, creases or dents.
- In the large pan used before, heat up on medium heat and allow to heat. Add a gentle layer of oil as once heated. Once oil is properly heated, cook dough rounds in batches to ensure that they cook properly and do not steam. Cook arepas until golden and dough feels springy.
- Once arepas are cooked, either stuff them with the fillings or pile on them on top. Enjoy!
*Published on Food52 in 2014