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« Homemade Candy Corn | Main | Arepas de Pernil »

Caracas Arepas Secret Sauce

This recipe is one that is near and dear to our hearts. Our obsession with this sauce started when we first visited Caracas Arepas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Here we were treated to a common Venezuelan dish known as an arepa.  It is basically a corn meal pancake cut in half a stuffed with any and everything.  They were amazing, but the star of the show was sitting in the middle of our table.  Each table in the restaurant had this tall squirt bottle with red tops filled with this dark yellow "secret sauce".  

At first we did not know if it was a hot sauce or some other type of sauce so we all put some on our fingers and took the plunge. Our taste buds were smacked with this intense combination of sweet and heat mixed together with a ton of garlic.  The sauce was so addicting we used practically the whole bottle, dowsing our arepas in it after each bite.  We sat their trying to guess the ingredients and could not do so.  We asked the staff but as to be expected we were told it was a secret.  We were determined to figure it out what was in the sauce.   That was about two years ago and we never got much further along in the process until about 2 months ago.  

While searching for recipes to make our own homemade aprepas when we stumbled upon a website claiming to have perfected the "secret sauce" recipe.  We could not believe that someone had cracked the code.  At first there was a feeling of disbelief until we reviewed the ingredients.  There they were, a handful of things we knew had to be in the sauce, so maybe, just maybe this person was on to something.  Well we knew right then and there we had a responsibility to make this recipe and judge for ourselves if they had succeeded.  We give to you Caracas Arepas "Secret Sauce"


  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup e.v olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup of yellow peppers
  • 1/2 cup of mango
  • 4  cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • salt to taste


  1. Put all ingredients but Olive oil in food processor one chopped, gradually mix in Olive oil until desired consistency.


We could not believe it, they did it.  It is the "Not So Secret Anymore Secret Sauce"!  This recipe is as close as you can get Caracas Arepas "Secret Sauce" without actually having their recipe.  It has the same flavor profile and texture.  There are however a few minor issues.  The sauce seems to be missing a bit of kick, we are thinking perhaps some habanero peppers or mustard would solve the problem.  Our version also turned out very green, the original sauce is a dar yellow, we may have used a bit too many fresh herbs.  Even with these minor issues this is still the perfect sauce to use on just about any meal.  It pairs perfectly with pork, especially the pulled variety.  It would also work nicely with steak, chicken and even shrimp.  We would even use it on top of our eggs if we were making huevos rancheros.  We highly recommend whipping some of this sauce together especially for your next taco night.  You with love the sweet and spicy flavor the emanates from this sauce.

Should or Should Not Eat:

If you have been to Caracas Arepas then you know how addicting their secret sauce is.  This recipe gives you the opportunity to have an almost perfect replica of the famous "Secret Sauce" in your fridge at all times.  This recipes is a Should Eat and we would love to hear what things you have put it on.

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    Some cultures and people do not consume meat or animal food products for cultural, dietary, health, ethical, or ideological reasons. Vegetarians choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees.
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    Another kind of sauce is made from stewed fruit, usually strained to remove skin and fibers and often sweetened.
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Reader Comments (8)

Hey guys. Thank you for sharing the awesome recipe. We live in Cincinnati, Ohio and also are addicted to the "secret sauce" from Caracas. I read your article last night and today we made the sauce. Excellent. I believe we have two ingredients that complete the recipe. Add brown agave nectar and thai red chili peppers. It seriously may be better than the original! Thanks again.

August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Thank you for the suggestions Shelly!

September 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterWe Ate That Staff


September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTeey

Shelly, you said Add brown agave nectar and thai red chili peppers. How much agave and pepper??? THANKS

September 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHain

If you got this recipe from the now defunct cheekystitch, it means your using my old recipe. Here's what's missing. No bell peppers. What your looking for is aji Amarillo from Goya or yellow hot pepper paste. Also subtract the mayo altogether. The Caracas recipe is vegan

October 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaven

Raven, how much of the aji amarillo do you use? do you use enteros or the paste? thanks!!

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersld

Hey! Im so glad so many people like Arepas, Im from Caracas, Venezuela. I love arepas and I eat them mostly with ham and munster cheese, right out of the skillet/oven/grill/arepa maker.. while its still hot so the cheese melts. Also I love Reina Pepiada which is shreded chicken, avocado and mayo. La Pelua : munster cheese and shreded beef. There are other variations but they are all good. If you buy precooked arepa cornmeal all you have to add is salt and water, let it rest about a minute and you will see if its ready to make an arepa, if its too wet add the flour (cornmeal) and if its too dry (you can tell because it shatters while you make a circle) add some water. Put it in the oven/skillet/arepamaker/grill/pan. But I havent tried this sauce, I am now intriged and will be making it to see what other venezuelans add to their arepa. SO GLAD YOU LIKE AREPAS.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaola

It has been part of my life's quest to find this recipe! Thanks! Did you try the suggestion by Raven? What do you think?

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAvila

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