Venezuelan-style Arepas (Arepas Rellenas) Recipe

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Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Notes:

  1. Masarepa is dehydrated cooked corn meal. It is available in the Latin section of most supermarkets in wither white or yellow varieties. This recipe calls for white, but they can be freely substituted. Popular brands include Goya and P.A.N.
  2. Crumbled cheese can be added if desired. Depending on the moisture level of the cheese, you may not need all the water. Colombian-style queso fresco is ideal. If you can't find it, substitute cotija, ricotta salata, or feta.
  3. Arepas can also be cooked on a greased panini press or a grill over low heat.

Recipe Facts

Active: 25 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups masarepa (see note #1 above)

  • 1 1/2 cups water, plus more as necessary

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons butter

  • Fillings as desired, such as cheese, beans, shredded chicken, or Pulled Pork

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Combine masarepa, cheese (if using), 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a medium bowl and knead with hands until a dough is formed. Take a small amount and flatten it between your palms If the edges crack, knead in more water a tablespoon at a time until dough is supple and smooth but not sticky. Season dough to taste with salt, then cover and set aside for five minutes.

  2. Divide dough into four even pieces and roll into balls. Working on a wooden cutting board or a regular cutting board with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of it, flatten each ball down to a disk about 4-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.

  3. Melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat (see note #3 above). Add arepas and cook, moving them around the pan and rotating them occasionally, until first side is charred in spots and a dry crust has formed, about five minutes. Flip arepas and cook on second side until a dry crust has formed, about five minutes longer. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, split, fill, and serve.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
193 Calories
5g Fat
35g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 193
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 192mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 132mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)