Here are clear and simple instructions and photos for how to cut a mango easily and efficiently so you can enjoy that most delicious tropical fruit.
Mangoes were once such a rare tropical fruit to find in the grocery stores. With the ease of shipping now, we can find them for many months of the year, as they are brought in from Mexico, Florida, Haiti and Brazil.
Their juicy, sweet flesh is wonderful eaten straight or diced and added to so many dishes. There are a lot of ways to cut mangoes, but this is my favourite. To tell if a mango is ripe enough to eat, press into the skin gently with your thumb. If there is some give and the flesh under the skin feels slightly soft (like a peach), it is ready to eat. If it is still hard to the touch, give it a few more days. Colour is not an indicator of ripeness, as mangoes can come in variations of red, green or yellow.
How to cut a mango:
First, look at the shape of the mango. There is a large flat pit in the center. Visualize this pit positioned across the widest part of the center of the mango.
Turn the mango so that the pit is standing vertically. With a large, sharp knife, cut downwards on each side of the mango, a scant ½ inch (1cm) from the stem, to cut off the 'cheeks' of the mango right next to both flat sides of the pit. If you get too close to the pit, angle your knife slightly to cut around it.
This will leave you with about a 1 inch (2.5cm) wide slice out of the center of the mango, containing the pit.
Cut the peel off this slice by sliding a sharp paring knife under the mango skin, all the way around the slice. Then trim as much flesh from around the pit as you can cut off. The flesh near the pit can be quite stringy, so not all of it is easy to remove. Cut the trimmings into smaller pieces.
There are two ways you can deal with the mango flesh from the 'cheeks':
1) Hold one of the mango 'cheeks' in your hand, with the flat side facing your palm, and cut the peel off the outside of it with your other hand. Peel a strip off all the way around the edge first. (Pretend my left hand is there - I needed to click the camera with it.)
Cut the flesh into cubes, strips, or slices.
2) Make lengthwise and crosswise cuts, about ½ inch (1cm) apart in a grid pattern, into the flesh of the mango, but not through the peel.
Then push up on the peel to invert it and 'pop up' the cubes still attached to the peel.
You can either nibble off the cubes, or cut them off to use in recipes. Alternatively, if your mango is soft enough, you can carefully scoop the cubes from the skin with a metal tablespoon, rather than invert the peel.
I prefer method 1) because I get neater cubes that way. Method 2) is more fun to eat, though.
From a regular-to-large sized mango you will get 1½ to 2 cups of neatly cubed mango flesh.
The rights to gnaw and scrape with your teeth any remaining morsels of juicy flesh from the pit, and to suck the flavour from it, go to the mango-cutter.
Look at that bowl of beautiful fresh mango chunks.
What To Do With Your Cut Up Mango?
You can just eat those juicy cubes fresh, or use them in some of these mangolicious recipes:
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