28 Nov 2011 3 Comments
Even though the post comes a bit late, the latest travelling breakfast comes from Colombia. From the Atlantic Coast, to be more exact and it’s an egg-filled arepa!
An arepa is a cooked dough made of cornflour and water. It can be fried, baked, grilled or even boiled. The arepa is a dish that was cooked by the pre-columbian indigenous peoples and the first time ever it was mentioned in writing was in Galeotto Cei’s “Trip and description of the Indies”, in the 16th century.
The Arepa is part of the Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine and has many varieties, from the simple, unsweetened white arepa of the Paisa Region in Colombia, to the golden, deep fried, cheese or egg filled arepa in the Atlantic Coast.
The dough can be sweet, made with panela, milk and honey or can be filled with minced meat, fish, avocado, cheese, eggs, etc.
How to make an arepa
You will need:
- 2 cups of corn flour (we used the same Ecuadorian corn flour we used to make the Venezuelan Empanadas)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 eggs (one for each arepa you are going to make)
As a side note, before we start with the making process, it’s incredible how simple and how tasty this dish is. It’s just water and corn flour. No oil or grease (apart from the huge amount you use for frying – but if you grill it there’s almost zero grease), no baking powder or other flavours (not even herbs).
If for the Venezuelan empanadas we were adding the corn flour to the water bit by bit, the arepa dough is made the other way around: by adding water to the corn flour (in which you mixed the salt and sugar) until you get a stiff dough that’s elastic enough to mold into balls , but not sticky or crumbly.
Mold the dough into egg sized balls and prepare a rolling pin and some plastic for making the perfectly round shapes, just as we did for the empanadas here.
Then fry it in very hot oil for a few seconds, until it forms a belly and rises from the bottom of the pan.
Take it out of the pan and let it cool down a bit so you won’t burn yourself, but not too much or it will be difficult to cut it without breaking it.
Because what we’re trying to do is cut an incision in the arepa and insert a raw egg inside.
It can be a bit tricky at first, but try to cut the arepa in the middle and slowly slide the egg in. Close the opening with a bit of fresh dough, then fry again until the egg is cooked.
Serve hot with a cup of chocolate. Don’t look at that Coca-Cola, it’s evil :) Also invite a friend and don’t give him anything to drink :P
Thanks again to the Chef and Master Photographer, JP.
In case this sounds like fun, here are some other travelling breakfasts we did before:
- Breakfast in Hungary: Pogacsa (Hungarian Scones) Recipe
- Breakfast Around the World: Russian Oladi
- Breakfast Around the World: Polish Jazecznica
- The Travelling Breakfast: Empanadas From Venezuela