Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
The way we make traditional Venezuelan arepas in our house. Every Venezuelan family has their own way of making it. You can skip the griddle/oven steps if you have a "Tostiarepa" (think panini press for arepas) but since my husband thinks it's sacrilegious, we do it this way. We'll start with the measurement recommendations on the back of that ubiquitous yellow bag of "Harina P.A.N" but please note that these are just suggestions and you need to make sure you have the right consistency above all. Buen provecho!
- 2 1⁄2-3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional, we like it)
- 2 cups precooked white cornmeal ("Harina P.A.N" brand)
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly grease and heat flat griddle or frying pan on medium high.
- Add water to a medium bowl.
- Dissolve sugar and salt in water. You want a mild flavor, not too salty but enough to taste it.
- Add the Harina P.A.N little by little as you mix with your hands.
- Stop adding the corn meal just before the mix becomes solid. It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter at this stage.
- Continue to stir vigorously with your hands until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and forms a very soft ball. Sprinkle additional corn meal into the mix if the dough doesn't firm up at all.
- Pick up the dough and slap it down back into the bowl a few times to speed up the process. Note: the dough should never become as firm as a ball of bread dough or pizza dough. There is no real kneading involved.
- When the dough forms a nice, moist ball, break off a small piece and work it in your hands rolling it into a small ball (about 1-2 inches) and then gently flattening it so it is about 3 inches across and 1/2inch tall. Note: if the dough cracks on the edges when you flatten it, it is too dry. Wet your hands and try again.
- Place the arepa on the preheated griddle and continue forming the rest in the same manner.
- Flip the arepas just before they are about to burn, when the bottom is golden brown. Allow them to brown on the other side.
- At this point the arepas are done, but for an added touch of authenticity, place the arepas into the preheated over directly onto the racks and allow them to bake for 10-15 minutes or until they puff up.
- Slice open and fill with butter, cheese, meat or anything else!