Sunday Brunch: Shrimp Arepas

[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

Sunday Brunch: Shrimp Arepas

About This Recipe

Active time:45 minutes
Total time:1 hour 5 minutes
Special equipment:Large skillet or griddle


  • 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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