How to Cut a Mango

May 14, 2010

Many of us are mango-challenged, which is completely understandable.  Mangoes hide a huge, hard, flattened pit inside themselves,  making it impossible for a mango to be cut in half like a normal piece of fruit. Ever.  But mangoes are easily dealt with using the following technique.

1. set the mango on a cutting board on one of its skinny edges
Mango: First Cut
2. Use a sharp knife to cut just a few millimeters to the side of the stem, if using Ataulfo mangoes (pictured). If using Haden mangoes, you need to be a bit farther from the stem.
Mango: Cut Side Off
3. Cut the whole fat side of the mango off
Mango: Cut Off to the Side
4. Do this again on the second side. This is a close-up of where you want to cut – just to the side of the stem.
Mango: Elephant Ears
5. This is my fun little mini-game of Mango Elephant Ears. Ahem, only to seriously illustrate how the mango should look after you have cut the sides off. The two elephant ears = pit-free mango parts. The elephant trunk = mostly pit (still useable, see below).
Mango: Cross Hatch Step 1
6. Use a paring knife to make evenly-spaced cuts through one of the mango sides. Cut through the flesh, but not through the skin.
Mango: Cross Hatch Step 2
7. Turn the mango piece one-quarter-turn and make more evenly-spaced cuts the same as above, which will now make a cross-hatch pattern.
porcupine mango
8. Press on the (still intact) mango skin to “pop” the mango open. See? My kids call this a porcupine mango and they like to eat it like this, right off the skin and into their mouths.
Mango: cutting into the bowl
9. Use a paring knife to cut the “popped” mango squares into a bowl.

There is still more mango to use! (Especially on an Ataulfo mango). People often suck on the pit at this point (there is no shame in doing that), but you can still get quite a bit of nice mango cubes off the side edges of the pit. Here’s how you do it:

mango pit with peel
10. Use a paring knife to peel the skin off the edge of the pit.
Mango: cutting edge
11. Use a paring knife to cut through the side-flesh down to the pit.
Mango edge into the bowl
12.Cut the cubes off into the bowl with the rest of the cubes mango.

Mango Pit
The Mango Pit

You can do whatever you like with the mango (smoothie, fruit salad, salsa, fish topper?) and feel free to suck on the pit.

Comments (3)

  1. Hey Heidi…I just shared this again with another friend. This is such an amazing post…well done.

    Allison

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