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Venezuelan Arepas

COOK TIME
5 mins
PREP TIME
20 mins
SERVINGS
4-6
RATE THIS RECIPE
(8)
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
COOK TIME
5 mins
PREP TIME
20 mins
SERVINGS
4-6
RATE THIS RECIPE
(8)

Ingredients

  • cups water
  • 2 cups pre-cooked cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Chef notes

    I was born and raised Miami, my mom was born in Brazil, with family that immigrated to Argentina from Lebanon and Syria, and my dad is from Venezuela. Being from Miami, I've also absorbed a lot of Cuban culture (shout out to the MVP, guava!). As you can imagine, food played a pivotal role in my upbringing. With lots of options to choose from (feijoada, kibe, churrasco, pão de queijo), I decided to go with arepas because they're the easiest. You can have these for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Swap option: My family likes to open the arepa, spread butter on the inside, and fill with queso blanco (typically labeled "Colombian cheese" in supermarkets), turkey and ham slices, avocado slices and served with fried or scrambled eggs. Use whatever your favorite fillings are!

    Preparation

    1.

    Pour the water into a large bowl. Stir in the salt, cornmeal and Parmesan gradually.

    2.

    Knead until a dough is formed. Added more water or cornmeal if needed. You want a good, moist dough — not too dry.

    3.

    Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (it will not rise).

    4.

    Separate dough into small portions. Take one portion in your hands and shape/roll the dough so that you form a ball roughly the size or smaller than your palm. Press it down with your palms to form a patty shape.

    5.

    Place onto a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Brown on both sides and serve hot. You want them crunchy on the outside but still doughy on the inside. Open the arepa and stuff with desired fillings (I like chicken breast with avocado or just plain butter).