By Isadora Baum
Ripe mango is one of the best tropical fruit picks you can enjoy in the summer. Mango flesh is tender and flavorful, and it tastes great in tacos, mango salsa, fruit salad, and more. Plus, it’s high in vitamin A and vitamin C, two nutrients that are great for boosting immunity and protecting skin and eye health.
Yet, it can be tricky to get to the center of the mango and cut it properly, so you can peel away the mango skin and cut the mango pieces off. That’s why sometimes it’s easier to just buy pre-cut from the store. It is expensive though, and you can save a bunch by getting mango yourself, pulling out that cutting board, getting a pairing knife, and slicing it up yourself.
Here is a step-by-step guide to cutting mango well, courtesy of Kim Hoban, RDN, CDN, CPT.
- Stand the mango on its end with the stem end facing down. Slice vertically around the hard flat pit in the middle of the fruit, removing each mango half and discarding the pit.
- Score each half of the mango by making vertical slices, then horizontal slices, creating a grid pattern without cutting through the skin completely. Make sure to use a sharp knife.
- Run the knife flat along the mango skin to remove the cubed mango, or simply bend back the skin to reveal the scored mango pieces and pick off with your hands.
A Few Tips for Cutting Mango
“Another method for using a peeler to cut for mango recipes is to slice the halves away from the pit, then place the edge of the mango half on the edge of a kitchen glass, pushing the fruit down on the glass, to allow the fruit to fall into the glass and the peel to remain outside,” she says.
“This works best with small to medium sized ripe mangoes, as they need to fit against the rim of the glass and be soft enough to peel easily,” she explains.
A mango splitter tool does work too, and you can get it online; however, it only works well with the appropriately sized mango to match.
Plus, make sure it’s a sharp knife, like a chef’s knife. “Avoid using a dull knife when slicing mango, as a dull knife is more dangerous and less efficient in cutting fruit,” she says.
And of course, try not to waste any of the delicious, juicy mango flesh by cutting too far away from the pit, where you are leaving fruit still attached. That is a waste for mango recipes, where you can use it for grilled chicken or an avocado dip with fresh diced mango pieces for that bit of fruitiness and sweetness.
Lastly, “don’t slice all the way through the mango halves, piercing the skin, as you will then have to peel each piece individually,” she says.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have tons of mango in your home to enjoy in smoothies and salads, on kabobs, and in a variety of other ways.