2largeripe plantainspeeled, diagonally cut into 1-inch thick slices (or you can purchase them already made from the frozen section of the grocery store)
Additional fillingsshredded cheese, sliced or mashed sweet potatoes, shredded chicken or meat of your choice
In a bowl, add the cornmeal, salt, and water and mix until well combined. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, make the sweet plantains. In a hot nonstick skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Pan fry the sliced plantain for 2-3 minutes at medium heat until they have browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Using your hands, form 8 balls of the arepa dough. Flatten each ball until each is 1-inch thick. You may have to wet your hands a bit to work the dough.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3-4 arepas at a time. Pan fry for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining oil until all the arepas are cooked.
Transfer arepas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (The outside of the arepa will be golden brown while the inside is slightly doughy. This is what you want. If you were to fry it longer, it may dry out.)
Once they are cool enough to handle, cut a 4-inch pocket on the side of the arepa or cut in half. Add desired fillings. Serve and enjoy!