Place water and salt in a mixing bowl. And stir to dissolve the salt.
Add 1 cup of masa and stir to combine. Then add half of the remaining masa and mix. Add the last of the masa and mix it together.
At this point you will likely need to begin working the dough with your hands. After you have mixed the dough well, if it still feels a bit sticky, allow it to sit for few minutes. It will absorb more of the water into the flour. ;;
The dough is ready to shape into arepas when it is firmer and less sticky. To begin shaping the arepas, wet your hands with clean water and take a ball of dough (about ¼-1/3 cup) and begin to roll it in the palm of your hands.
Once you get a round ball, you can begin flattening the dough ball as you move it around using just the palm of your hands. It should be about ¼” thick and the edges should be smoothly round.
It is best to form the arepas as you are ready to cook as they don’t hold their shape if you make ahead and try to transfer to the cooking pan.
Cooking the arepas
First wipe a skillet (preferably non-stick) with a bit of oil and put it over medium heat.
Allow the pan to fully heat up before adding the arepas.
Once the pan is hot, add the arepas to the pan and cook without moving them in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and you can cover the pan with a lid to help the arepas cook a bit longer (5 to 7 minutes).
Flip the arepas over when lightly brown and allow them to cook on the other side for about the same amount of time.
You may need to turn them several times cooking for an additional few minutes until the are done. The best way to tell if the arepa is done inside is to tap it, it will make a thumping sound.
**See Nhai's tips below for making the BEST arepas!!!**More detailed explanation of nutrition is provided below.