Our sweet friend Carmen who we met last year was in town to visit us for about a week. In April she married her “gringo” as she would say, which basically means her white man; our dad married them and we sang and it was such a beautiful time. Just this past weekend she was able to see her husband again; he is a truck driver and travels for long periods of time, so they were reunited at last! Once he left on a new job, we had the pleasure of housing her for a few more days and she wanted to teach us how to make Venezuelan arepas!!! I had my first arepa last year at her daughter’s house and it was just amazing. So, of course, we were pumped to learn, and found out that it is a very easy process, that requires minimal ingredients! So easy and quick!
Here we go… we wanted to share with you guys the Arepas we made last night and the multiple amounts of ways you can eat them!
Ingredients you will need:
- Pan Flour (you can find this at HEB, right now it is a specialty item)
- Fine salt (1/2 tbsp)
- Large mixing bowl
- Large skillet
That is all you need to make the standard arepa! I was shocked how simple it is! This can all be done within 15 minutes!
First, you pour the whole bag of pan flour into a large mixing bowl, then add about a tablespoon of salt. After this just place the bowl into the sink and let the water flowwww. She basically eye balled the amount of water to the consistency that is shown in the picture below. Make sure the flour is not soggy and there no clumps! That is when you know the “masa” flour mixture is ready!
Next, heat the skillet pan on high and as it heats up from the masa into balls around the size of the ones shown in the picture below. Once you’ve finished, begin to grab one ball at a time and flatten them into round discs. Once you’ve done that just place each one into the hot skillet!
Now you wait. Wait, wait and wait. The arepas need a good amount of time to actually get crispy. While you wait you can figure out what other ingredients you would like to fill into your arepa. We decided to have a little station of toppings and add ins.
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Black Beans
- Queso Fresco (fresh cheese)
These are just some of the many ingredients you could add, do what you like! There are a variety of add ins to arepas.
We also want to share another way of eating an arepa, it’s called a Tostada! At first, we thought, a tostada? Like the ones you buy at the store, a tortilla that’s been toasted up, and then you top it with beans and meat? Well no, this is a different type of tostada. We will show you below how she made this.
Once you have your standard arepa, if you desire to make it into a tostada you will need…
- All purpose flour (she used about a cup and a half to make 3 tostadas)
- Fine salt (1/2 tbsp)
- Water to mix
- The texture of this mix should be liquid.
Take a smaller skillet and add in oil half way up so there’s enough to fry the arepa.
Once that is finished you take one arepa, stuff it with either cheese, cheese and chicken, or whatever you’d like, and then you dunk the arepa into the flour liquid mixture. Then you place the arepa into the heated oil in the skillet. Fry it up!!! Once it’s turned brown it is ready to flip to the other side, then you brown that side! Once you’ve done that, your arepa should look like this one.
Once you have the arepa fully toasted, you can put your add ins. She made this special sauce that is a typical sauce you use for arepas in Venezuela, it is just ketchup and mayonnaise.
Once it’s all done you are ready to devour!!! So delicious, filling and satisfying.
Like we said, there are many ways to fill arepas, there are tons of meats you can put inside also black beans are very popular, cheese of course, so pick what you like best!! Make the arepa your own! Let us know if you try them out – xoxo