Mangoes are delicious, but eating them can be daunting. Unless you have seen someone prepare a fresh mango before, you probably don’t know the tips and tricks to correctly cut and prepare this fresh fruit. When cut and prepared properly, the mellow and floral flavor of this great fruit can really shine. When prepared incorrectly, however, you are likely to deal with stringy mango that doesn’t taste great. Learn how to cut your mango and prepare it properly here so that you never waste this delicious fruit again.
1. Choose the Right Mango
While you want to make sure that the mango you are going to enjoy is ripe, a mango that is too ripe can be difficult to cut. When shopping for a mango, make sure to feel mangos to see which one gives gently when pressed. If the mango is squishy, then it is overripe. If the mango feels hard, then it won’t have much flavor and shouldn’t be cut and eaten yet.
2. Remove the Stem
Cutting off the stem of the mango is the best way to make sure that the fruit won’t slip around on the cutting board when you’re trying to slice it. Put the mango on one side and then carefully slice off the stem so that the end is nice and flat. This allows you to rest the mango on the cutting board when you are completing the next steps.
3. Cut Two Large Pieces
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the large sides along the middle pit. This will give you two big pieces of mango. You can easily feel where the pit is by inserting the tip of your knife into the mango and feeling where it meets resistance. Where the knife can’t enter the mango is where the pit is located, so you need to make sure that you cut around this area.
4. Cut off the Smaller Sides
There are also two smaller strips of fruit along the sides of the pit. These can vary greatly in size and can sometimes be enough to cut into pieces for serving while sometimes they are very small. If the pit is very large, then there won’t be enough mango here to add to a recipe, which means that the chef can enjoy a small snack while working.
5. Slice Vertically Through the Mango
Carefully holding one of the larger pieces of mango in your hand, insert the tip of your knife and cut through the fruit, stopping at the skin. It’s important to be careful when completing this step so that you don’t accidentally cut through the mango’s skin and into your hand. Vary how far apart the cuts are depending on the use of the mango. If you want strips of mango, then you can now use a spoon to carefully scoop out the strips from the skin.
6. Cut the Mango into Chunks
For a recipe that calls for chunks of mango and not strips, you must then cut carefully across the mango. These horizontal cuts will create chunks. Make sure to carefully cut so that you don’t cut through the skin of the mango. The width of the cuts will determine the size of the chunks when you are finished.
7. Push out the Chunks
At this point you can use a spoon to scoop the chunks out of the mango by carefully peeling them off of the skin. If you would prefer, you can press against the skin of the mango, popping the chunks outward so that they can easily be sliced off with a knife. Some people like to eat the mango this way, biting pieces directly off of the skin, which keeps them from getting messy.
8. Consider Peeling the Mango
If you have a slightly unripe mango or don’t feel comfortable slicing through the fruit to the skin, then you may want to peel the fruit. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the skin from the mango, leaving as much fruit behind as possible. Then cut off the wide and flat sides of the mango and slide them into strips or chunks on the cutting board.
9. Use a Mango Splitter
Cutting the fruit from the pit can be difficult for some people, which is why using a mango splitter can be a good idea. Simply center the tool over the pit and press down firmly to separate the fruit from the inner pit. It’s then easy to cut the fruit into slices or chunks and remove or cut it from the skin.
10. Eat It Plain or with Other Fruits
Mango tastes delicious plain and fresh, which is why it’s such a popular snack throughout the world. Plain mango can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to a larger meal. It’s perfect for on the go, especially if the chunks are left in the skin for easy eating.
11. Make a Mango Salat
Use the mango to make a delicious and easy salat. Start by finely slicing some white, green and red cabbage. Add blueberries and mango cubes. You can serve this salat with fish, meat or enjoy it as is.
12. Grill It
Grilled mango is delicious, as the sugars in the fruit will caramelize slightly. Chunks of mango can be grilled as part of a kebab or slices can be placed on the grill to warm through and soften slightly. This grilled fruit then tastes delicious anywhere that fresh mango would be used. It’s great on tacos and in stir fry, as well as in desserts.
13. Make a Quick Salsa
Mango that is still a little firm is great in salsas, as it will easily hold its shape and add fresh flavor. By simply adding cubes of mango, bell pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime together, you can make a fast and easy salsa that will brighten up any meal. It tastes great on fish and chicken, as well as in tacos and on nachos, making it incredibly versatile.