So you have a nice ripe mango, but you don’t know the best way to cut it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how. At the end of our culinary program, I once witnessed a fellow culinary student try to slice a mango right through the middle, not even realizing there was a large fibrous pit in the center. Although, I have seen a few hacking methods (which do work), there are also some easy, organized steps that will make you look like a professional mango dicer. Now grab the perfect mango, relax and follow the instructions below to take the stress and confusion out of harvesting life’s sweet island flavors.
The Tools: A knife, cutting board, dinner spoon and a ripe mango (that’s right, no peeler required!)
Step 1: Choose the perfect mango
When choosing a mango, you are looking for softness and some give in the skin. If your thumb impression stays indented in the skin, your mango is too ripe. On the other hand, you don’t want a rock hard mango either, it won’t be as sweet or have as fresh of a flavor. The skin color doesn’t matter when choosing a mango either. The color doesn’t change to indicate whether it’s ready to eat or not.
Step 2: Start to slice
Place the stem of the mango down on the cutting board. You are going to cut away the mango meat from the large almond-shaped seed. Place your knife half an inch to the side of the highest point of the mango. If you are not sure which direction the seed is going, notice in the picture below that the seed will parallel the direction of the knife, with the highest point making a direct line going north and south. When slicing, make one clean cut down, trying to avoid the seed.
Step 3: Slice the sides of the mango
Because the sides have less mango meat, you might accidentally get some of the seed (like I did!). If you do accidentally cut some of the seed, you can cut it out later.
Step 4: Cut cubes and scoop
Carefully slicing, making sure to not pierce the mango skin, cut lines from top to bottom, then left to right making cubes. You can invert the mango skin to make a fancy presentation or scoop out the cubes with a spoon.