Canarian Arepas, a Venezuelan delicatessen adopted in the islands

Canarian Arepas, a Venezuelan delicatessen adopted in the islands

Canarian Arepas are originally from Venezuela, traditionally known as the Eighth Island by the islanders of the Canary Islands. This recipe was adapted by the islanders.


Its name proves the enormous influence and cultural ties that this sister country has had on the Canary Islands. In fact, it goes far beyond the cuisine. It really is rare that any Canarian family doesn’t have or hasn’t had relatives there.

And, as gastronomy is something that unites people, it isn’t surprising that those Canarians or their descendants who returned to the islands brought with them this rich and tasty recipe.

Recipe: how to make Canarian arepas

Arepas are a round, flattened dough made from corn flour (or millo, as this cereal is called in the Canary Islands). A famous slogan of a Spanish pizzeria chain says that “the secret is in the dough”. In this case, in the flour.

The arepa is then filled with practically anything you like, although the most common arepas are usually those with shredded meat or the classic Reina Pepiada (with chicken and avocado), which we'll present to you in this article.

This dish is  very easy to prepare, so if you want to make it yourself before, during or after your trip to the Canary Islands, be sure to follow this simple, finger-licking recipe.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 2 cups of special flour for arepas
  • 4 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to make the dough

  1. Pour the water and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a spoon or fork.
  3. The warm water helps the flour to integrate better and prevents clumps.
  4. Start working with your hands when the mixture has a consistency.
  5. Continue kneading little by little in an outward and inward motion, so that the flour completely absorbs the water and the dough is uniform, compact and doesn’t stick to your hands.
  6. When the dough is ready, wash your hands and start making balls (slightly larger than a walnut) and then flatten them into a round shape.
  7. Make sure they’re one finger thick.
  8. If there are any cracks in the dough, add a little water and seal it. 
  9. Pour a little oil into a very hot frying pan to prevent them from sticking.
  10. Heat over medium heat so that the arepas are cooked through and aren’t raw on the inside.
  11. Cook the dough in the frying pan for about 15-20 minutes.
  12. Cook them until they turn golden brown and are toasted on the outside. 
  13. When they’re done, cover them with a cloth so that they don’t cool down and keep the outside crispy.

Ingredients for the arepa Reina Pepiada

  • 400 g chicken breast
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise
  • 25 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preparation of the arepa Reina Pepiada

  1. Cut the meat into small pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a frying pan with a little oil, fry the onion and garlic and add the chicken meat.
  3. Sauté until juicy and set aside in a bowl.
  4. Peel the avocado, cut it into small pieces, add it to the bowl and mix the ingredients well.
  5. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. 
  6. Fill the arepa with the mixture.

As you’ll have been able to see, the Canarian arepas are a real delicacy and the recipe is really easy to prepare. Do you dare to try them?

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