There are two ways to go about plantain arepas… well two places to start. Do you want Arepas de Plátano Verde, Green Plantain Arepas, or Arepas de Plátano Maduro, Ripe Plantain Arepas? Green plantains tend to taste a little less banana-y, while ripe plantains are sweeter. Some folks even add some sugar to make a particularly sweet ripe plantain arepa.
Though most often made about the size of one’s palm, you can also use the same arepa ‘dough’ to make small appetizer arepas topped with your favorite flavors. Avocado and/or hogao are, of course, favorite choices. The larger arepas can also be topped, or sliced and filled/stuffed, almost like a sandwich. Sometimes arepas are just served on the side of a main dish to help sop up sauce or as an added starch.
The corn meal that you want to use for arepas is ‘masarepa,’ or other instant corn meal flour that has been precooked. Pan and Goya are popular brands. It is very inexpensive.
Green Plantain Arepas – Arepas de Plátano Verde
Ripe Plantain Arepas – Arepas de Plátano Maduro
By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes: ~8 cakes
- 2 plantains (either green or ripe); peeled
- 1/4 cup masarepa
- 1/4 cup soft butter
- 1/4 cup water
- salt to taste
- Halve and quarter the plantains. Boil in a pot of lightly salted water for 20-30 minutes. If you are using extra ripe plantains you may not even need to boil them.
- Add the boiled plantains, masarepa, butter, and water to a large bowl and mash until smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Form the dough into 4 inch circles, about a 1/4 inch thick. (If you plan to slice them for filling, make them 1/2 inch thick.
- In a skillet prepared with cooking spray or butter, fry the arepas for several minutes on each side, until golden.
- Serve buttered, as-is, or topped/stuffed with other favorite ingredients, including cheese, salsa, a protein, or vegetables.