The easiest way to cut up a mango

mangoa

What’s the best way to cut a mango in perfect cubes – without peeling it first, and with absolutely no hassle?

Hint: NOT the way I’ve just started in the picture above.

Thanks to Susan Reid, a CIA-trained chef and my fellow test-kitchen baker, I now know the most efficient, effective way to prepare a mango for serving.

And I’ve been practicing a lot lately, as one of my very favorite fruits – Ataulfo mangoes (a.k.a. Champagne mangoes) – is in season.

If you’ve never tasted this super-sweet, creamy mango, run – don’t walk – to your nearest supermarket and pick some up. They’re generally available late April to early August, so their season is shorter than the more common year-round varieties.

Identify an Ataulfo mango by its flattened appearance, and golden (not green or red) skin. Inside, its flesh is bright gold, and firm/creamy; not at all the coarse/stringy texture of a typical mango.

And flavor? There’s not a sweeter fruit anywhere. Think perfectly ripened peach, with hints of citrus.

Anyway, enough with the rapturous compliments. Let’s cut up a mango.

mango1

Take your ripe mango (the skin will be yellow-gold, not green), and turn it on its side. An Ataulfo will naturally rest on one of its flat sides; you want to turn it so a narrow side faces up.

Take a sharp or serrated knife, and make a vertical slice just slightly to the right of center. As you slice, try (by feel) to come as close as possible to the large flat pit inside; angle the knife around it.

Remove the first slice, and repeat, cutting past the pit on the other side. You’ll now have two nice fat pit-less slices; and a flat pit surrounded with a thin layer of flesh (center, bottom photo).

 

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Working with one fleshy slice at a time, score in cubes to (but not through) the skin.

Gently press the skin inside-out, so the cubes separate.

Use a knife or spoon to cut them off the skin.

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Peel the skin away from the pit; it’ll come off in a long strip. Use your knife to carve any remaining meaty pieces away from the pit. Add them to your bowl of cubes.

Oh, and don’t forget to nibble as much remaining flesh off the pit as possible, before composting; you don’t want to miss any of that juicy sweetness!

Now you’re ready to make easy mango sorbet (above)…

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…or rich, creamy mango gelato.

Enjoy!

 

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Stephanie Craig

    You could do what I have done. Buy a mango cutter. I live in Panama where the fruits just lay about the ground everywhere. I have grip problems and the mango can juice you to knife nicks. The cutter is available in grocery stores, not hard to find. I keep it near my pineapple cutter and avocado slicer. Old folks enjoy good foods, too. We just have trouble cutting them like we used to do.

    Sounds like heaven, Stephanie – mangoes just lying around waiting to be picked up! I’ve never seen a mango cutter – I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for one. Thanks for the tip – PJH

    Reply
    1. Fran

      I lived in Panama, and yes you are so right! To this day Mangos are my favorites. I have find the cutter. Not a lot on the ground in Central PA.

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      You’re right, Beth – although I usually don’t cross-hatch the potato, just scrape it out, all nice and soft… :) PJH

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      All mangoes I’ve seen can be cut up this way. Sometimes it’s harder to identify the “flat” side in order to cut around the pit, but the flesh should be easily scoopable off the skin when cut in cubes, as pictured. Good luck – PJH

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