Viva Vegan! Terry co-authored several of my favorite cookbooks, including Veganomicon, so I expected good things. And this recipe did not disappoint! Arepas are akin to corn bread or just really, really thick tortillas. They have a crunchy crust and a moist and dense center.
The recipe called for the tempeh filling to be made in advance so that the flavors have time to meld. We planned on having the arepas for dinner, so I made the filling in the morning and let it marinate in the fridge. After briefly boiling the tempeh, I sprinkled it with soy sauce and cut it in cubes.
Next I whisked Vegenaise, lime juice and fresh ground pepper together and then stirred in the shredded jicama and tempeh cubes..This was the first time I've ever made anything with jicama and the first grocery store we went to didn't carry it. Once you peel it, it looks a lot like a potato but smelled like a green bean. I wish I would have thought to try a bit of it on it's own, but I didn't.
Making the Arepas was pretty simple. The dough was made out of masa harina flour, salt and water. It was supposed to be strictly Venezuelan or Colombian style masa harina, but the kind we bought was of non-specific origin. The dough was kneaded and then patted out into 6 disks about 4 inches in diameter.
They were then fried in a bit of canola oil before being baked for an additional 15 minutes in a 350 oven.
After baking we sliced the arepas were sliced in half, spooned on the prepared filling and topped it with sliced avocados. The traditional way to assemble these includes splitting them three quarters of the way and stuffing the filling inside like a pita, but we found the sammich construction a bit easier.
The results were yummy! The only way I can think to describe the filling is as a tangy slaw. I love the jimaca and lime combo with the mild tempeh and warm arepas. The arepas themselves were nice, but on their own seemed a bit bland. Maybe adding a bit more salt would help this? Zack thinks they would be good withbutter and honey as a breakfast. We give it four stars!