Pork-and-Cheese Arepas with Tangy Cabbage Slaw


"My first exposure to authentic Mexican food was through Zarela Martinez," says F&W's Grace Parisi. "These stuffed flatbreads prepared with masa (dough made from corn) are my tribute to her. You can use rotisserie chicken in place of the pork, or omit meat entirely." More Fast Pork Recipes

Pork-and-Cheese Arepas with Tangy Cabbage Slaw
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 2 cups masa harina, preferably Maseca brand

  • 1 ¾ tablespoons plus 2 warm water

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage

  • ¼ small red onion (very thinly sliced)

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • ½ pound roast pork (shredded)

  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup shredded)

  • Hot sauce (for seasoning)

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

  • Sliced pickled jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream (for serving)


  1. In a bowl, mix the masa harina, water and 1 teaspoon of salt to form a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, toss the cabbage, onion and vinegar. Season with salt.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the pork and cheddar and season with salt and hot sauce. Form the pork filling into 4 compact balls.

  4. Form the dough into 4 balls and cover with plastic wrap. Working with one ball at a time, flatten it on a sheet of plastic wrap to a 7-inch round. Place a pork filling ball in the center of the dough. Bring the dough up to cover the filling. Gently flatten the ball into a 4-inch patty and patch any holes or tears. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

  5. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the arepas and fry over high heat, turning once, until golden, crisp and heated through, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to plates. Using a slotted spoon, mound the cabbage slaw on top of the arepas and serve with jalapeños, cilantro and sour cream.

Make Ahead

The uncooked arepas can be stacked between sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Bring the arepas to room temperature before frying.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, cherry-rich red blend.

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