Shrimp Arepas (Arepas con Camarones y Hogao)

Seasoned Colombian-style shrimp is stuffed inside griddle-cooked masarepa flat breads with a tomato hogao sauce and slices of ripe avocado. Sort of like a seafood torta made with soft corn.
Shrimp Arepas

Shrimp Arepas (Arepas con Camarones y Hogao)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

It’s time for #FishFridayFoodies and for April, the topic is all about Latin style seafood. For my choice, I decided to put together some shrimp arepas.

Arepas are a type of flatbread put together with a type of masa called masarepa, which is precooked.

It is put together as a soft but pliable dough, rolled into balls, flattened, and grilled much the same way you would a pancake.

From there, you cool it a bit, then slice it with a bread knife to fill with whatever you prefer.

In this case I have made a Colombian style shrimp which is very similar to Spanish gambas al ajillo, but without the wine. This is paired with a hogao sauce (also called criollo) which is pretty much a fairly mild cooked salsa. I have posted hogao sauce on the blog before as Frisoles Antioquenos, which is the Colombian national dish. I think those might be the best beans I ever ate. That recipe in particular is a little more work, but it is so worth it. It has an exquisite depth of flavor.

The shrimp and hogao sauce in this recipe are both put between the arepa slices with ripe avocado and eaten deftly  perhaps with what my mom would have enjoyed wrapping a napkin around the bottom. They are a little bit clumsy, but don’t be scared off because they are delicious and worth every drip.

I just cook my hogao down until it is a little thick and not as runny as salsa.

The first arepa I had was prepared for me from a street cart- it was a disaster wrapped in foil as it had pork and they didn’t drain it well. Sort of like the annoyance of a taco that splits in half.

These arepas fared much better as I tried to keep the liquid out, which is the secret to not letting the yummy juices escape down your arm.

Shrimp Arepas

Don’t forget to scroll down below the recipe print to see the linkup of other Latin Fish and Seafood recipes this month for #FishFridayFoodies.

Shrimp Arepas

Shrimp Arepas (Arepas con Camarones y Hogao)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Shrimp Arepas
Arepas Ingredients:

  • 2 cups masarepa (precooked corn meal) (NOT masa harina)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups warm water

Arepas Method:

  1. Mix together ingredients into a dough, and let rest 15 minutes, covered with plastic. I press the dough down into the bowl  so it is easy to cut into pie slices when dividing the dough.
  2. Section dough into 8 pieces,   roll into a ball, then flatten into patties.
  3. Cook on a lightly oiled griddle about five to eight minutes, turning once, as you might cook a stiff pancake.
  4. When arepa is cool enough to handle, lay it flat and using a bread knife,  cut it open sort of like pita bread.

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (30-40 count) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro

Shrimp Method:

  1. Heat butter and oil in a skillet and add the seasonings and the shrimp (except the cilantro).
  2. Stir and cook shrimp  over medium heat until lightly curled, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. When finished cooking, stir in the cilantro.

Hogao Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 6 slices fresh jalapeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Hogao Sauce Method:

  1. Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until crushed and saucy, but not pureed.
  2. From there, place it in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes until thickened and not very watery.


  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced

Shrimp Arepa Method:

  1. Split arepas like a pita and place several shrimp, some hogao and sliced avocado inside. 
  2. Press together and eat like a little sandwich, wrapping the bottom with foil or a napkin to help hold it together if you need to. 

From the kitchen of

Be sure to check out the other Foodie Fish Friday Bloggers this month!

Click on the hop link button to be transported to the other recipes:

Fish Friday Foodies
Shrimp Arepas

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