After making this arepa recipe, you will understand why they’re so popular in Colombia. The combination of the seasoned fried dough with the fried egg is really, really good, and I wouldn’t blame you if you end up eating more than one.
If you follow my blog, you know by now how much Colombians love anything that is made with corn, like buñuelos, natilla, empanadas and arepas. And you probably also know that we love to fry our food… a lot! So, in this post I have a Colombian arepa recipe that is not only made with corn but is also fried, not once, but twice. I’m talking about the famous arepa de huevo or egg-stuffed arepa! These arepas are extremely popular on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and you will see all kinds of street vendors selling them like hot cakes... well, like hot arepas (sorry, bad joke).
I’m not going to lie to you: making these arepas is not easy, because putting that egg inside without making a mess in your kitchen takes a lot of practice. The first time I made them I was not able to get that freaking egg inside and after the third arepa, I decided to use a cup with a pointed lip to see if it would go in. Sure enough, it did!
Pour the hot water in a large bowl and add the food coloring, salt and sugar. Stir well.
Slowly add the cornmeal and stir it with a wooden spoon or spatula. When the cornmeal has absorbed the water, knead it with your hands until the dough is smooth and without any lumps. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls.
Place one ball inside a tortilla press covered with plastic and flatten it to about ¼-inch thick. Make sure the arepa is evenly flattened and gently press the edges with your fingers to get rid of any cracks. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough. **Note: You can also form the arepas with your hands or with the help of a plate, pan or rolling pin.
Gently place the arepa in oil that has been preheated at 350 ºF and let it sink to the bottom. Once the arepa rises to the surface, start covering it with more oil with the help of a large spoon for about 2-3 minutes. This will make the arepa puff up. Then, take it out of the oil and place it on paper towels to drain. Repeat this process with every arepa.
Crack one egg into a cup that has a pointy lip and season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with this process with all your eggs.
Once the arepa is cool enough to handle, make an incision with a sharp knife about 1½ inches wide on the side of the arepa to make a small pocket. Then, carefully pour the seasoned egg inside and immediately place the arepa back in the hot oil. Fry it for another 2-3 minutes or until the egg is cooked through. Repeat with every arepa.
Remove the arepa from the oil and let it drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.