This is the traditional Venezuelan arepas recipe. Or the recipe for the authentic arepas venezolanas. The arepas that we have for breakfast and dinner. The same that are perfect for school lunches. The same that we eat in the areperas across Venezuela.
Since I posted my arepas enriched with eggs and cheese recipe, I got tons of suggestions to make carrot and sesame seeds arepas, herbs and crushed red pepper arepas, arepas with crunchy bacon bites and so on.
Arepas: a very versatile corn bread
Honestly, I didn’t know our arepas were that versatile. But I promise I’ll start experimenting more with Harina PAN. PAN is our Venezuelan pre-cooked corn flour. We use this arepa flour to make not only arepas, but also hallacas, hallaquitas, bollos, mandocas and so on.
However, you have to be careful. This arepa flour should not to be confused with corn meal that we use to make cornbread in the U.S. Neither with the Mexican masarina used to make tortillas and tamales.
Arepas: the simplest and easy recipe ever
A reader from Chile asked me for the recipe to make plain arepas. I thought that was a cute request. The recipe is printed on the Harina PAN package. If you follow those directions, you will get the perfect dough. This is exactly what I do. My only “secret” is that sometimes I don’t add any salt. But the salt thing is a personal choice.
Making arepas with and without an arepa maker
Traditionally, the authentic Venezuelan arepas are made by hand. For us to give the arepas their perfect round flat shape is a piece of cake. Because I always had somebody in charge of the arepa making (my grandma, sometimes my mom, a nanny and even my first husband) and I do not consider myself a good arepa shaper. So, for the video in this post, my good friend Luisa Chesneau was in charge.
The problem with the arepa shaping can be easily solved with an arepa maker. These days, arepa makers are becoming more and more popular. With them you just make a little ball of dough and they will do the job including shaping perfect circumferences and perfectly cook them.
For those of you unfamiliar with the art of making arepas, here is the not so secret formula to make the best plain ones! By the way, this is the same recipe used yesterday by Empresas Polar in my home country to celebrate the 50 anniversary of Harina PAN. They entered the Guinness record book with an arepa weighing 493.2 kilos! Isn′t it incredible?
Venezuelan arepas are gluten free and can be filled with almost anything (but peanut butter and jelly, I would say), including cheese, ham and cheese, tuna salad, cheese and bacon, chicken salad, scrambled eggs, Venezuelan pabellón criollo, and so on…
Where to buy arepa flour
Harina PAN is sold in Latino stores across the U.S. and in major grocery stores where it can be found at the international food isles. More recently (January 2020) and to my happiness, I saw it at Costco in Miami! As a result of the increasing Venezuelan diaspora, Harina PAN is also sold in Central and South American countries as well as in Europe.
Besides that, you can buy it online through my Amazon Affiliate Program. At Amazon you can also get the arepa maker. If your choice is the traditional non arepa maker method, also at Amazon you get a double griddle or even better, get the classic budare (something that cannot be missed in any Venezuelan kitchen)
How to make the authentic Venezuelan arepas
And now, here is the recipe. Please don’t forget to my Youtube channel. Thank you!
- 2 ½ cups of luke warm water
- 2 cups of Harina PAN pre cooked arepa flour
- Pour the water in a bowl.
- Add the flour and mix with your hands until well incorporated.
- Let stand for 2 minutes.
- Form dough balls according to the size of your arepa maker.
- Cook following the instructions of the arepa maker. In the case of my Miallegro arepa maker, it takes 12 minute to have the arepas done.
Hungry for more arepa recipes? Check these out:
- Arepas with Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo
- Arepas with Tuna Salad and Mayo
- Arepas Enriched with Eggs and Cheese