An arepa is a flat, round, unleavened patty made of cornmeal or flour which can be grilled, baked, boiled, or fried. The characteristics vary by color, flavor, size, thickness, garnishment, and the food with which it may be stuffed, depending on the region. It is a native sort of bread made of ground corn (or flour), water, and salt which is fried into a pancake-like bread. It can be topped or filled with meat, eggs, tomatoes, salad, cheese, shrimp, or fish.
The story of how I stumbled upon this recipe has its origins a few weeks ago. I realized that I might be sensitive to gluten so I started to research about all the options a gluten-free diet might offer and I stumbled upon this site. The original recipe makes more arepas but I make a smaller batch because I'm also watching my carbs. I like to make them very thin, because they turn out super crispy but they are normally thicker which makes them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They can be made thick enough to work as a little bread bun that can be cut open and stuffed with whatever filling you crave. I love to eat them topped with cheddar cheese but any salty topping or filling would work.
Ingredients**Makes 4 arepas
-1/2 cup Masarepa (pre-cooked cornmeal)
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 tbsp of Splenda sweetener or sugar
-1 cup boiling water
-Oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal and salt. Pour in 3/4 cups of boiling water and mix to form a mass. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- With wet hands, form a ball using 1/4 of the dough and press on a piece of wax paper to form a cake about 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. If the dough cracks at the edges, mix in a little more water and then form the cakes. Repeat, until all four arepas are formed.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the patties to form a light brown crust on one side, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side.
- When all the patties have been browned, transfer them to a paper towel. Top and serve immediately.
If you make them, please take a picture and share. :D