Updated April 14, 2020 (Originally published March 29, 2019)
I first learned about arepas back in 2011 when my Colombian colleague was telling me about the amazing arepa she had for breakfast that morning. Arepas are traditional Colombian and Venezuelan gluten-free bread made from precooked cornmeal, and they are SO good.
So why did it take me so long to make arepas? Because of Japanese regulations, I can't get a hold of the primary ingredient: arepa flour, or
After googling where I can purchase P.A.N. in Japan and being disappointed, I had completely forgotten about arepas. That was until I connected with Johana, my mommy friend who runs Loom Studio in Toronto. Her being Colombian, I was instantly reminded of arepas and asked her to teach me how to make them!
I asked my dad to bring a bag of P.A.N. home from his recent trip to the states and now I'm a little addicted. The only thing keeping me from having arepas
Johana told me she likes her arepa dough on the wet side, mixing 1 cup of arepa flour with 1¾ cups of water, but that I should start with the recipe on the package and work from there.
Well, that recipe on the package is so damn good I haven't moved away from it! I'll get to experimenting soon. Maybe.
It really is one of the easiest and tastiest things I've made! It takes only three ingredients, and the process is so simple. Plus, I haven't had bread since going gluten-free so this really hit the spot nicely!
You can grill it or pan fry it, with or without oil, and they have a thin, crispy crust and a moist center.
I cooked the first batch of arepas without any oil or butter on the griddle. The second batch, I cooked with a bit of ghee. Both are tasty, but the butter helped to add color to the arepas.
Johana showed me her arepa with cheese so I had to try, and boy am I glad I did! She incorporated grated cheese into the dough but I enclosed it in the center, hoping for a gooey center. Who doesn't love a gooey center?
Arepas are the easiest bread to make because they don't require any yeast! If you've never tried arepas, you've got to make them! My favorite arepa filling is
- 2 cups P.A.N. arepa flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups water
- In a large bowl, combine the arepa flour and salt. Add the water and stir until combined. Knead until a smooth dough forms and let it rest for a couple of minutes to let the arepa flour soak the liquid.
- Separate the dough into ten portions and roll them into balls. Flatten each ball into 3.5in/10cm disks. Cook on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 5-10min per side.
- Take the arepas off the heat and enjoy as is, or slice open and fill with whatever your heart desires!