Arepas (Corn Fritters) Recipe

Looking for another way to work a little bit of a veggie into your menu? These are great for a casual gathering with friends or family—who will probably try to grab them right off the skillet, says chef and caterer Serena Bass, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. Or, if you have someone to help make the arepas then you can pass them around. These are best served immediately—and be cautious when frying batter as corn may pop.

With National Corn Fritter Day on July 16, you will be ready to celebrate the occasion with a batch of these at the ready. I won’t question the origins of these food “holidays” as some are hazy, such as this one, but National Ice Cream Day, which is also upon us, has presidential associations. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month and established National Ice Cream Day as the third Sunday in the month of July, which is the 17 this year. What with the Fourth of July behind us and the state fair more than a month away, these days are always a good lighthearted excuse to embrace various ingredients or otherwise, say, mix up a cocktail—you see National Daiquiri Day is also this month (July 19). So by whipping up the original classic recipe of 3 parts rum, 1 part lime juice and 1 part simple syrup shaken with some ice and strained into a glass, either straight up or on the rocks, you will be set to celebrate two holidays at once! Maybe even three if you serve ice cream for dessert. 

Arepas (Corn Fritters)

Makes 50 Small Arepas

2 cups fresh sweet corn
12 cup whole milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 cup yellow cornmeal
14 cup flour
112 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 teaspoon cayenne
     corn oil for frying
4 ounces Cheddar cheese cut into thin 34-inch squares
Sriracha Chili Sauce

Combine 1 cup corn and milk in bowl of a food processor and blend 5 seconds. Whisk together with eggs and remaining 1 cup corn.

Sift together dry ingredients and fold into corn mixture.

In a heavy skillet, heat 14 inch of corn oil to medium hot. Fry batter using 1 tablespoon per fritter and do not crowd the pan. Cook the corn cakes until they are crisp and brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. After flipping fritters, lay a small slice cheese on top to melt.

Remove fritters with a metal spatula onto a baking rack (a paper towel will make them soggy). Serve topped with Sriracha.

Nutrition info per one: Calories 47 (24 From Fat); Fat 3g (Sat. 1g); Chol 11mg; Sodium 109mg; Carb 4g; Fiber 0g; Protein 1g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.