How to Cut a Mango with Step-by-Step Instructions
Mangoes have become so popular that you can find them in everything from smoothies to salsas. You can even buy frozen mango chunks in the freezer section of your grocery store. But if you want to experience this sweet fruit at its freshest, you’ll need to know how to cut it.
It can be a bit of a challenge to cut and peel a mango since the fruit has a long, flat pit in the center that’s virtually impossible to cut through. But knowing a few tips will have you enjoying the tasty fruit in no time at all.
How to make sure a mango is ripe
Before you cut up a mango to serve, you’ll want to make sure it’s ripe. Mangoes get sweeter after they’re picked, and a ripe mango releases a lovely aroma from the stem end.
Not all varieties of mango change color as they ripen, but for the most part, ripe mango is more yellow-orange than green. But a touch test is a more reliable way to know if the fruit is ripe. Mangoes soften as they ripen, so when they’re at their peak, they give just a bit when you give them a gentle squeeze.
How do you cut a mango?
The steps for cutting a mango aren’t complicated, but a few tips along the way will make it easier. The basic steps are:
- Wash the fruit thoroughly
- Remove the pit
- Salvage any good fruit around the pit
- Cut into slices or diced cubes
- Remove the peel
Wash the fruit thoroughly
A mango peel isn’t edible, but you’ll still want to wash the fruit to avoid transferring bacteria when you cut it. After washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, run some water over the mango. Rub it gently as you rinse, and that will remove any dirt or residue from the peel. Once you’ve washed the mango, you’re ready to cut it.
Remove the pit
Removing the pit is the most challenging part of cutting a mango. There’s a wide, flat pit right in the middle of the fruit, which you won’t be able to cut into. The simplest way to remove it is to cut the mango into three sections.
You can do this using a mango splitter, which is a unique kitchen tool made specifically for this purpose. It’s somewhat like an apple corer, and you can remove the pit by simply pressing the cutter down on the fruit until it slices through the whole mango. But if you don’t happen to have a mango cutter, there’s still a relatively simple way to cut the mango into sections.
To section the fruit, you’ll be cutting it lengthwise from the stem end to the opposite end. If this feels awkward, you can make it easier by slicing off a thin slice on the opposite end from the stem. This will let you stand the mango upright on your cutting board to stabilize it while you make the cuts.
Allow about a finger’s width in the center of the fruit for the pit slice, and then, with a sharp knife, cut a section lengthwise on both sides of it. If you hit the pit when you’re cutting the section, your knife will get stuck, but you can free it and start again. Just move your knife outwards slightly and cut again. Once you’ve made these two cuts, the mango will be in three sections. One is the centerpiece with the pit in it, and the other two are the cheeks of the fruit.
Salvage any good fruit around the pit
Although the pit is pretty large, there’s still some good, edible flesh around it. You may be able to see the light-colored pit right in the center, or it may still be concealed inside. Make angled cuts around the pit to save the fruit around it, and then you can peel those pieces individually.
Cut into slices or diced cubes
There are two ways to approach this, depending on how you’re using or serving the fruit. You can cut a mango into slices and peel each individually, or you can use the “grid” approach to peel chunks and wedges of the fruit all at once.
How to slice a mango
If you’re going to serve mango slices, choose the width you like and cut the slices from the cheeks of the fruit. To peel them, place a small, sharp knife close to the peel and slide it through the slice. Since mangoes don’t have a thick rind, the peel should cut away easily.
How to cut up a mango into chunks
This method of cutting makes the mango very easy to peel. Place one of the mango cheeks on the cutting board, peel side down. You’re going to cut into the fruit, almost all the way through it, but not through the peel. Make a series of crosswise cuts, then lengthwise cuts for the size of cubes you want.
Remove the peel
If you’ve made crosshatch cuts into the cheeks of the mango, you can pick up one of the sections and invert it, pressing the cubes you’ve cut out from the fruit. The pieces won’t pop off, but you may be able to peel them away from the skin with your fingers. If they don’t separate easily, use a small paring knife or a large spoon to cut them away.
It’s worth a little effort to enjoy fresh mango
Mangoes may be a little harder to cut and peel than other fruits, but the effort is worth it. From its fragrant aroma to its sweet, tropical flavor, it’s one of the most delightful foods you can eat.
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