Arepa de huevo (Arepa with egg)

March 23, 2007 in breakfast, Colombian Food, cooking, deep fry, Food Porn, ingredient, latino, recipe

[Sorry for the annoying copyright symbols on these images but there are too many people downloading and stealing these images. I am working on a downloadable for-a-fee document where you can get the whole "picture" and I do not lose all photo rights and revenue.]

Arepa de huevo - after final frying

Arepa de huevo is a Colombian food that I remember from my childhood. Other countries may do this but I do not know much or really anything about other varieties. Arepas are made from a very finely ground corn meal. I will put a recipe or guideline below for making that as well as how-to photos on how to make the arepa with egg below.

My first experience with it was when we visited Colombia 25 years ago. As in other latin american countries, street vendors sell all manner of things. We were on foot somewhere in Bogota, Colombia, and literally by the roadside there was this large woman sitting next to an enormous wok-like pot filled with boiling hot oil. She also had dozens of eggs and arepas. I didn’t really know what to expect when we walked up. I watched her cut open a large arepa (size of your hand, I am used to seeing them more like 1/2 that size), break an egg into the steaming middle of the arepa, pinch it back closed, and slip it quickly down the side of the wok-pot down into the boiling oil. Next thing I know, I am holding a napkin with a steaming hot arepa de huevo inside, tasting it for the first time.

Truly fantastic.

I have always respected the potent possibilities of food poisoning and GI upset that can happen when you eat things in a region where you have not acclimated yourself to the local bugs in the water. On this trip, I experienced food poisoning also for the first time but it was NOT from the Arepa de huevo I had from the street vendor.

Why?

Arepa de huevo

Because this treat is deep fried, making it less likely to be a vector for forborne illnesses.

More important than all of that, it is very delicious!

I had not eaten one in all that time until just the other day, when I finally got down to making them in my own kitchen. They came out so much better than I had anticipated. I hope you will try them too!

Arepa de huevo

Ingredients:

Arepas:

  • 1 C “La Venezolana” or “ArepaHarina” precocida masa harina (extremely fine precooked corn meal – you simply can not use any substitutes here, find this ingredient)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 C boiling hot water
  • 4 eggs (or more, depending on how far your masa goes)

Hogao:

  • 5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bunches of green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cominos
  • Pinch of ground annatto seeds
  • 1/2 cup of packed, chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Saute the listed “hogao” ingredients in the olive oil until wilted, set aside.

Mix the harina and salt and then add the boiling water. Mix until incorporated and set aside for 15 minutes.

Arepa de huevo ingredients

Dough ball

Wet hands with cold water and shape hand sized pancakes of harina (about 1/6 inch thick) or use a tortilla press. I used the press in this case but I think I would prefer to recommend the hand method as you get a thicker arepa. With the press, its a delicious crispy thing, just a bit different than I remember.

To use the press:
Put a ball of masa on the press (which you have lined with a freezer ziplock bag, cut to size).

Arepa de huevo - on press to be flattened

On the press, with plastic

Gently push down on the press so that you mash it flat but not TOO thin.

Arepa de huevo - squished flat

First pressing

Open the press and rotate the arepa 180 degrees and press just slightly more to try to even the thickness all around.

Peel back the plastic and either toast in a hot pan like you do with most arepas (below shown with smaller ones), or slip the raw arepa into the hot oil until it puffs up.

Arepa de huevo - after smashing flat

Ready for first stage cooking

Remove and allow to cool.

Carefully cut into the side of the arepa to form a pocket.

Arepa de huevo - fried once, opening pocket

Slicing the hole

Put a spoonful of hogao in the bottom of the fried arepa.

Put an egg into a small cup and then slip the egg into the pocket.

Arepa de huevo - pouring in the egg

Small expresso cup used to put egg in arepa

Arepa de huevo - after the egg has been poured in

Egg in the arepa, quick go to the next step!

Mend the edge with raw dough and then slip it back into the hot oil for a couple of minutes (until it hits the color you want, light golden brown).

Arepa de huevo - mending hole at edge with a bit of raw masa

Mending the edge before frying

Enjoy hot!

Arepa de huevo - right out of the second fry

Ready to eat!

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