Arepas are a type of corn cake popular in both Venezuela and Colombia. Pique boricua (also known as pique de piña), a chilli- and pineapple-flavoured vinegar, is Puerto Rico's answer to Tabasco. You'll need to begin this recipe at least three days ahead.
- 1 kingfish fillet (about 800gm), cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 cup coriander (loosely packed)
- 8 canned tomatillos, quartered (see note)
- 1 avocado, coarsely chopped
- 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- To serve: baby coriander and lime wedges (optional)
- 150 gm pineapple rind, cut into 2cm pieces
- 300 gm pineapple, finely chopped (½ small)
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 55 gm caster sugar (¼ cup)
- ½ tsp crushed black peppercorns
- 1 long red chilli, seeds removed (optional)
- 1 jalapeño chilli, seeds removed (optional)
- 250 ml coconut vinegar (see note) (1 cup)
- 190 gm masarepa (see note)
- 1½ tbsp coarsely chopped coriander
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 30 gm butter, melted, plus extra for frying
- 1For pique boricua, place pineapple rind in a small non-reactive container, add 100ml boiling water, cover, set aside at room temperature until starting to ferment (about 24 hours). Strain (discard solids), add remaining ingredients and 1 tsp salt, cover, refrigerate for flavours to develop (at least 2 days). Purée in a food processor, season to taste, refrigerate until required.
- 2For coriander arepas, stir masarepa, coriander, spring onion and 2 tsp sea salt flakes in a bowl to combine. Add 340ml hot water and stir well until mixture forms a stiff dough, stir in butter, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest (30 minutes). Divide dough into 10 balls. Flatten a ball between two pieces of plastic wrap to 5mm thick with a rolling pin, transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and cover. Repeat with remaining dough. Heat a little butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook arepas one at a time, turning once, until golden and just cooked through (1½ minutes each side). Wipe pan with absorbent paper between each.
- 3Meanwhile, heat a barbecue or grill to medium-high heat. Combine kingfish and olive oil in a bowl, season to taste, then cook, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add half the lime juice and half the coriander, toss to combine.
- 4Add tomatillo, avocado, shallot, remaining lime juice and remaining coriander in a bowl, season to taste, add kingfish, toss to combine.
- 5Serve arepas topped with kingfish and avocado mixture, drizzled with pique boricua and scattered with baby coriander, with lime wedges and extra pique boricua to the side.
Note Canned tomatillos are available from select delicatessens. Coconut vinegar is available from Asian grocers. Masarepa is a pre-cooked cornmeal flour; it's available from Latin Deli, The Essential Ingredient and select delicatessens.