April 23, 2007

How to Cut Up a Mango



You need:
1 very sharp knife
1 cutting board
1 large spoon
ripe mango

First: Make sure your mango is ripe. It should be slightly soft and give at little to touch, but your finger should not go through the skin. If it does, that is an over ripe mango-throw it out! If the mango is hard, let it sit out on the counter a day or so ripen. The color/appearance of the skin is not important and varies by the variety of mango, however, avoid bruised fruit.

Second: Hold the mango so the longest part is going up and down. You want the flat pit in the middle. Cut on one side of the pit. If you feel resistance (i.e. if you are cutting into the pit) pivot your knife towards the skin slightly as you cut down. Repeat for the other side.


You should now have two curved "halves" and one center slice with the pit in the middle.


Third: Lay the middle part flat on the cutting board. Take the tip of your knife and pierce through the mango, as close to the skin as you can without breaking it. Now you can either leave the knife in the same place and pivot the mango around the knife to remove the skin, or you can move the knife around the inside edge of the skin to cut it off. I prefer the pivot method, but you have to be careful not to brush against the rest of the knife.


You should now have a whole ring of mango skin and a pit surrounded by flesh. Discard the skin.

Fourth: Take your knife and slice off any thick pieces of flesh from the pit. Cut slices off the sides. Depending on the mango and how closely you cut to the pit during your first cutting, you may or may not yield a lot of mango. Place the mango pieces in a bowl. Discard the pit. Personally, I like to suck all of the bits of flesh and juice off the mango pit before I throw it away, sort of like a Popsicle. You can also save the pit, wrap it in a wet paper towel, put it in the cabinet and it will sprout into a little mango plant.




Fifth: Use the tip of your knife to score vertical lines into the mango half. Do not go all the way through the skin.


Pivot and repeat to form little cubes.




Sixth: Place your spoon between the skin and the flesh and scoop out the cubes. Depending on how big your mango is, you may be able to do this in one try.



Scoop out all of the fruit, if any of the cubes stick together, cut them apart with your knife. Repeat for the remaining half. Place cubed fruit in bowl.


Seventh: Scrape out any bits from the empty skin. Discard the skin or save it for presentation.

Two good sized mangos yield about 3 cups of cubed flesh.


My thoughts:
We just bought a case of some of the sweetest juiciest mangos ever so I thought it might be a good time to share a little how-to. I remember when I first bought a mango I was stymied by the oddly shaped, flat pit. After a try or two I realized that it is quite easy and you can cube the fruit while you peel!

18 comments:

  1. Hi Rachel! Excellent how-to... thanks!

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  2. Were you sitting in our meeting when we avoided our agenda and talked about Mangoes? I mentioned how I am a mango butcher. This post is so, so valuable to me. Thanks!

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  3. In India the riper the mango, the better it is. I think mangoes are the only thing that I miss about India....they were simply the best. Even the best mango I've had here(and believe me I've tried my best to search for 'the one') is nothing compared to what we get in India. I guess I'll give 3 to 4 stars out of 10 for the mangoes here and a full 10 for the Indian ones :D

    N

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  4. And one more important step: don't forget to wash your hands! Mango skin contains an oil that makes it sort of like poison oak, so if you tend to get poison oak/ivy/etc, be super careful!

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  5. sometimes the skin of the mango is not as relenting as the pictures represent,
    peeling the mago with a standard peeler and following the remaing steps ommiting the part about the spoon gives a cleaner looking dice

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  6. Anon: That's true, you can peel and if a super "clean" dice is that important to you, it might be worth it. However, that makes the mango much more slippery to handle when cuting. I also have never had any trouble getting the skin off a mango (as shown here) as long as it was actually ripe.

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  7. Thanks for the lesson. I love mango, but always feel like I am wasting so much when I cut them up. I see now, it was no the mango but my not so skilled technique!

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  8. I can't beleive people don't know how to prepare a Mango! It's not rocket science you know. But thanks Rachel for teaching those people out there who don't know.

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  9. I like making smoothies and wanted to incorporate mangoes, so many thanks for this! (Love the visuals)

    Can't wait to check more of this site out =)

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  10. 1) I could have used this so badly this weekend. I think I got an overripe mango.

    2) It's not as easy as it seems to perform these cutting techniques. (for me) I had a hard time with it.

    3) THANK YOU for giving these instructions! I will apply them the next time I try.

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  11. For kicks try eating the peeling instead of throwing it away. It's quite pleasant and HIGHLY nutritious.

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  12. The skin is edible but the oils contained in it give many people a slight allergic reaction-tingling and numbness of the lips-so I generally don't recommend eating it.

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  13. Hard as it may be for some to believe, the reason why so many people don't know how to prepare a mango is that those same people where never shown how...not that we believe it to be akin to rocket science. Thank you Rachel for showing us how, and not belittling those of us who weren't lucky enough to be shown at an earlier age.

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  14. Thanks! Very clear and straightforward.

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  15. I like this post! Very informative- I am writing a post and linking it to this site, because i just love my mangos!

    Bobbi-

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  16. Tanner the newby mango ninjaMay 14, 2009 7:35 AM

    Thank you so much my dad just boughtt a whloe bunch of mangos and nobody at my house can prepare them i will become my houses mango ninja

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  17. Wonderful! After a couple of ugly (but tasty) results I loved reading this! Many thanks!

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