Arepas de Huevos Recipe
By Russell Sabo
Arepas de huevos…little corncakes from Heaven. Actually, they’re little corncakes that have been fried in oil, then filled with a raw egg, and then fried again. If you’ve never tried arepas de huevos, or if you haven’t heard of them, you’re in for a treat!
Arepas de huevos originated from the Caribbean coastal region of Colombia where they are a typical dish that is served for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I had heard of them from a friend in Barranquilla, Colombia and they sounded delicious, so I tried making them at home here in Minnesota. I used masa harina (corn flour) that I bought from the local grocery store and went about preparing the arepas. Needless to say, if you know anything about arepas, you know that masa harina is NOT the correct flour to use. My arepas turned out to be sloppy versions of what I saw on the internet, and while I thought they tasted good, I knew I wasn’t getting the real flavor of the arepas de huevos.
A few months later I got off the airplane in Barranquilla, Colombia, meeting a friend in person for the first time and thinking of all the delicious foods that I was going to have the opportunity to taste. First and foremost, the arepas de huevos! The next evening, we headed to Narcobollo, an establishment that serves typical Colombian foods, and I bought my first, and only, arepa de huevo that I’ve eaten in Colombia so far. But man, talk about pure deliciousness!
When I got home I began my search online for places that sold the correct flour and I found a few. I will have links to them at the bottom of this page if you’re interested in purchasing from them. I ordered the flour, and once I received it in the mail, I set about making arepas de huevos once again. This time they turned out perfectly, taste-wise. They were a little ugly because filling the fried arepa with the egg is an art-form and requires some practice, but the taste was almost exactly as I remembered. After a few more times of making them, I had the necessary practice and can now cook some delicious, anatomically-correct (ha ha!) arepas de huevos.
Below is the recipe. Try it for yourself! They may just become a household favorite.
- Ingredients for 4 Arepas de Huevos
- 1 cup P.A.N. Harina or masarepa (pre-cooked corn meal)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 4 medium-sized eggs (for beginners – with more practice you can use large eggs)
- Oil for frying. I use canola oil; most recipes I’ve seen say to use vegetable oil
- Mix the pre-cooked corn meal, salt, and sugar (if used) in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the hot water and mix with your hands. The dough will seem very soupy at first, but it becomes more firm after mixing well.
- After the dough is mixed, let it sit for 5 minutes.
- While the dough is sitting, fill your fryer or pot with enough oil so that your arepas can ‘swim’ a little. About 4 inches deep.
- Turn on the fryer or stove to a medium setting (350 degrees F.) so that the dough doesn’t fry too fast.
- After the dough has sat for 5 minutes, divide it into 4 equally-sized balls. Set aside a little extra dough for repairing holes.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper on your working surface. Place 1 ball of dough on the plastic wrap or wax paper. Place another piece of plastic wrap or wax paper on top of the dough. Flatten the ball of dough so that it’s about 1/4 inch thick using something with a flat surface (cutting board, plate, hardcover book)
- Using your fingers, repair the edges of the dough so that it’s smooth and round.
- Carefully place the dough (arepa) into the oil and fry it for 3 minutes (1 1/2 minutes per side). The arepa should puff up in the oil.
- Carefully remove the arepa from the oil and let it drain on some paper towels.
- When the arepa is cool enough to touch, use a knife and cut a hole in the side of the arepa.
- Crack open an egg into a small glass and carefully pour it into the hole in the arepa. Quickly repair the hole using the dough you set aside.
- Place the arepa in the oil again and let it fry until the egg is no longer runny, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the arepa de huevo from the oil, let it drain on paper towels, and serve as soon as it’s cool enough.
And that’s how you make arepas de huevos! They’re awesome by themselves, or you can serve with guacamole or ketchup (if you’re a ketchup-a-holic like myself). After you’ve made them for the first time, you can start adding other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, sausage, or anything else you think will go well with the egg.
One major tip for cutting the hole. Make sure the knife stays INSIDE the arepa. You don’t want to puncture the top or bottom of the arepa. And if the arepa hasn’t puffed up completely, you can use the knife to open it up a bit more. You want enough space to pour the egg inside.
Another tip for cutting the hole. The hole doesn’t need to be exactly on the edge. It only needs to be as close to the edge as possible to cut easily. I cut a hole on the top side as close to the edge as I can. You’ll know which side is the top by the way the arepa puffs up.
I normally cook 1 arepa at a time because my pot isn’t very big. So while one arepa is draining after the first fry, I’ll be frying the next arepa until all 4 are completed. During fry-time I’ll prepare the next arepa for frying or cut holes in the side of an arepa that’s ready for an egg. There isn’t much time for standing around and watching the arepa in the oil. If you use this method, make sure you use a kitchen-timer so that you don’t over-fry the cooking arepa while doing other things.
And this is where you can go to order flour if you don’t have a store nearby that sells masarepa or P.A.N. Harina:
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