There are several ways to cut a mango, some easier than others. So, which is best?
Why is it that the most delicious fruits are the biggest pain to cut? Could it be that the juicy flesh inside is truly worth the squeeze?
There are a few internet-popular techniques for cutting mangoes, including one that uses a glass to separate the skin from its flesh after cutting away from the pit (cool idea, but results are definitely not as clean as using a knife or Y-peeler).
Another involves cutting pieces from either side of the pit, then scoring the flesh of each side, like some folks do with avocado halves. They then flip the peel inside out and cut the diced pieces from the peel.
Holding the mango half in one hand and the knife in the other feels like a recipe for “mango hand.” And besides, you don’t always want your fruit diced, do you?
Here’s our tried and true method for cutting a mango.
Let’s cut to the chase
- Set your mango on its side on a cutting board.
- With a sharp knife, trim off both stem ends. Stand the fruit upright (bottom stem-side down). The mango should stand up on a flat bottom.
- Grip the mango with your free hand on one of its sides and curling your fingertips under your hand so they’re out of reach of your knife.
- Begin to peel the skin away from the flesh from top to bottom. Once you’ve peeled one side, rotate the mango to complete the job.
- Next, line the knife up slightly to the left of the mango’s top center. Carefully slice down through the flesh, on one side of the pit. If your knife encounters the pit, reposition it further to the left. As you become a mango-slicing expert, you may curve your knife around the pit as you go.
- Separate the left lobe from the pit, rotate the mango 180 degrees, and do the same thing to the right lobe.
- You can slice off the flesh that’s still attached to the pit in pieces, top to bottom. You should end up with two large lobes plus a bunch of smaller trimmings. From here, you can dice, slice vertically or horizontally, or just go to town.
Safety tip: Wash thoroughly
If you cut a mango without peeling it first, be sure to wash it well, or else you could drive surface bacteria to the fruit’s flesh.
A ripe mango should give slightly when you squeeze it, but not so much so that your fingers leave an imprint or the flesh feels mushy beneath the peel.
The flesh should be relatively firm, not wrinkled, and free of spots (overripe mangoes are especially slippery to cut). If the fruit feels hard to the touch, let it ripen on the counter for a few days before cutting into it.
Now that you know how to get to that sweet orange meat, here are some mouth-watering mango recipes, both sweet and savory:
1. Mango and cayenne paletas
In Mexico, a dash of Tajín seasoning often accompanies this fresh fruit — a blend of chili pepper, lime, and salt. This refreshing popsicle recipe is a take on that palate-awakening combination.
2. Coconut farro porridge with mango
Farro, a chewy whole grain, is a surprising substitute for oats in this hearty breakfast porridge. The addition of coconut and fresh mango lends a tropical brightness to a perfect winter breakfast.
3. Crab salad with mango, avocado, and lemon-herb dressing
Mango’s tart notes make it ideal in this light salad made with lump crab. Creamy avocado and a sweet-and-spicy vinaigrette complete the meal.
4. Spicy jicama, grapefruit, and mango salad
This refreshing slaw-style salad is spicy, crunchy, and tart. Cayenne, lime, and cilantro take mango and grapefruit all the way to Savory Town.
There’s an art to cutting a mango, and doing it the right way involves a fair amount of turning the mango as you cut. You should wind up with two large, separate lobes and some mango shrapnel to spare.
Then, eat your mango in a salad, porridge, or paleta.
We put together a complete guide on everything mango — check it out here.