Sunday Brunch: Shrimp Arepas

Sunday Brunch

How to make the best meal of the week even better.

Sunday Brunch: Shrimp Arepas
  • Yield:4
  • Active time:45 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 5 minutes

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Making arepas on a Sunday morning is a great activity for a group. Making the dough, then shaping, frying, and filling can all be done with a glass in hand. And no individual task is too daunting, making this a great brunch for guests who cannot stay out of the kitchen, or even some anxious youngsters. Masarepa is a precooked corn
flour that can be found at most South American markets, or online.

About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville MA. Find more information at (or read


  • Arepas:
  • 2 cups masarepa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups hot water
  • vegetable oil for skillet or griddle
  • Shrimp:
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small long chili, minced
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt to taste
  • sliced avocado, optional
  • diced tomato, optional
  • thinly sliced scallions, optional
  • Bibb lettuce leaves, optional


  1. 1.

    Place masarepa and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Slowly pour hot water into masarepa, mixing with a fork until dough comes together. Roll into a log, wrap in plastic, and let rest 20 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Once arepas, have rested divide in half, then divide each half into 8 pieces. Shape into short cylinders (like a hockey puck) then wrap individually in plastic wrap if not using right away.

  3. 3.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and sear each arepa until just beginning to brown, then transfer to oven. Allow to bake for 20 minutes.

  4. 4.

    While arepas are in the oven, prepare shrimp by heating oil in a skillet over medium high heat, add shallot, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and chili and cook until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add shrimp and lime juice and cook until shrimp are pink and starting to become firm, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Once arepas are cooked, split and fill with shrimp and any or all of the optional garnishes.

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