How to Prepare Arepa de Yuca Just Like Bogota’s Food Carts

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Arepa de yuca

Isabela Gómez

Have you tried “arepa de yuca”? It’s one of my favorite street dishes in Bogotá and I dare to say, of the WORLD. Learn how to prepare it at home the way I learned

When I arrived to Bogotá for the first time after moving from my home country, I still felt at home because of the food. They have almost the same homemade dishes, but higher in calories for extra warmth against the cold weather.

I noticed this when I started eating in local restaurants, food courts and especially at food carts, which I was used to seeing in my country a lot. But there, most of them sold hot dogs, contrary to Bogotá, where you will find healthier food carts, which I appreciate.

One night, I was walking around Cedritos (specifically in the Carrera 19) and I found a lot of arepa´s food carts (you can also find them in many other places like Chapinero and Ciudad Salitre), but there was one that stood out from the rest and it was the cart that makes the arepa with yuca and not with corn like the rest of them.

Obviously I decided to try it and it was delicious and perfect for the cold weather because it’s a high-carbohydrate vegetable served warm, filled with the perfect amount of meat, chicken and/or cheese, with an optional hot dressing called “hogao”. For me, it was a piece of heaven, because it is a healthy meal you can eat for breakfast, a snack or like I did, for dinner and you won’t feel super full (unless you eat 2 or 3).

As you might imagine, I started going frequently to this food cart and one night I asked her how she does this amazing “arepa”, and she told me just the ingredients, which was the only thing I needed to awaken my desire to prepare it. So I did my research by asking my bogotan friends, my husband’s family and combined with my experience doing the typical “arepa,” I was able to make it!

You can find the ingredients in all the food markets in Bogotá and it will be around 14.000 COP (approx. 5$) so it’s a pretty inexpensive meal, especially because after preparing this recipe, you will have ingredients left to repeat it or use for another recipe.

Keep reading, follow step by step and you will enjoy the delicious result:

Ingredients for 6 “arepas”:

¼ butter / mantequilla

¼ milk / leche

1 tsp salt / sal

¼ corn flour / harina de maíz (Harina Pan)

1 lb of yuca

Preparation:

  1. The first thing you need to do is boiling water while peeling the yuca. After peeling it all, cut the yuca into pieces in order to cook it faster.
  2. When the water starts to boil, put the pieces of yuca and the salt in, and every five minutes prick it to see if it’s soft enough to continue to the next step.
  3. Once the yuca is soft, drain the water and wait until it is at room temperature.
  4. In a bowl, start smashing the yuca, while doing it you will find kind of threads that has the vegetable, you have to throw that away.
  5. Once the yuca looks like mashed potatoes, add the butter and with your hands, start kneading until is homogeneous.
  6. To make it more malleable, add the milk and the corn flour and mix it by using your hands too.
  7. Preheat the pan with a few drops of oil and by using kitchen paper, spread it around the pan.
  8. Start preparing the “arepa” by shaping into balls and with your palms, flatten them until they have 1 inch of thickness.
  9. Cook the “arepas de yuca” over medium heat until they are light brown on both sides.
  10. To eat, use a knife to split the “arepa” in half and fill it with anything you like and enjoy it!

This recipe is easy to make and is perfect to prepare for any meal and can be included as an appetizer by reducing the size and making it thicker. I want to add that if you use the brand “Harina Pan” corn flour, then this recipe will be gluten-free or if you are into diets, you can prepare the “Arepa de Yuca” without the corn flour, milk and butter and it will be a perfect paleo dish.

I hope you like to try new food like I do and that you enjoyed this recipe! This is one of Bogota’s many gastronomic dishes that are worth practicing at home and I guarantee that eventually it will taste as if it were cooked by a bogotan.

Leave me a comment below to know if you liked it and upload a picture on social media using the @colture_travel to see the results! Also I recommend my other articles that will help you during your stay in Bogotá:

Colombia: the country of empanadas

Traditional Colombian Desserts You Need to Try

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