PTFC Cafe | Renzo Zambrano's Arepa Venezolana

Portland Timbers midfielder Renzo Zambrano first came to Portland as a member of Timbers 2. After excelling with T2, he signed with the first team in 2019 and made 10 appearances (nine starts). A native of Venezuela who has four caps for the national side, his choice for PTFC Cafe is a favorite dish from his homeland: 

Arepa Venezolana


1 1/2 cups masarepa (corn meal)
1 1/2 cups water (may need more as necessary)
1 tsp vegetable oil Salt
2 tsp butter

Your choice of fillings:
cheese, beans, chicken, cilantro, etc.


Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine masarepa, 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a medium bowl and knead with hands until dough is formed. Take a small amount and flatten it between your palms. If the edges crack, knead in more water a tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth. Season dough to taste with salt, then cover and set aside for five minutes.

Divide dough into four even pieces and roll into balls. Flatten each ball down to about four inches a round and 1/2 inch thick.

Melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add dough and cook about five minutes, moving them around the pan and rotating them occasionally, until first side is charred in spots and a dry crust has formed. Flip and cook on second side until a dry crust has formed; about five minutes longer. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest five minutes.

Fill with your favorite fillings – chicken, peppers, onions – and serve.