Learn how to cut a mango properly to avoid a kitchen mess:
If you’re into healthy lifestyle habits, you probably know that one of the best ways to get nutrients into your body is by eating mangoes.
Mangoes are almost perfect fruits, packed with health benefits. These fruits have a tropical, exotic taste and blend perfectly with most meats and seafood.
Cutting a mango can be a real pain in the neck if you don’t have the proper technique. So this article teaches you how to cut a mango the right way – with the skin on or by peeling off the skin first. But it’s important to first learn the signs of a ripe mango.
How to Tell If a Mango Is Ripe
- Take a mango in your hand and gently squeeze it. If it gives slightly, it’s ripe. But if the mango gets mushed, then it’s overripe.
- Mangos are similar to avocados and peaches as far as ripeness goes, so you can use this information as an indicator when checking if a mango is ripe.
- Smell the stem side of the mango. A ripe mango should give off a sweet fragrance.
- Many people look at the color of the mango to judge whether or not it’s ripe. But it’s not a genuine indicator unless you’re familiar with the mango varieties. Some ripe mango cultivars are yellow or orange, others are red or purple, and others can be any combination of these colors.
- If your mango is unripe, you can speed up ripening by placing the mango in a paper bag and leaving it on the kitchen counter at room temperature. It could take a few days, so check the mango once a day until it gets slightly soft.
- If you’re not yet ready to cut a ripe mango, move it to the fridge. The cold prevents the fruit from getting overripe.
It’s essential to choose a ripe mango for cutting that’s still firm to the touch. Unripe mango isn’t as sweet as ripe mango, and it’s significantly harder to cut since the flesh is too hard. Meanwhile, an overripe, soft mango is too mushy for cutting with a knife, although you can easily scoop it out.
How to Cut a Mango with Skin On
- Place the mango on a cutting board.
- Using a butcher’s knife, cut off the stem.
- Place the mango with the trimmed side down.
- Gently but firmly hold the mango in place from the opposite side of the stem.
- Slice the mango into three equal parts, carefully avoiding the mango pit in the center. Once cut, the center slice should contain the mango pit.
- Using the tip of your butcher’s knife, create mango cubes by making horizontal and vertical cuts on the two mango slices, excluding the center slice.
- Grab each of these two mango slices by the skin using both hands, then pull the skin inward to better expose the mango cubes.
- Easily remove the mango cubes from the skin using your fingers or a spoon.
- Shift your attention to the center slice with the mango pit. Use a paring knife to cut around the seed, careful not to hurt yourself.
- When you can’t make any cuts anymore, set the mango seed aside.
- Use the butcher’s knife to cut the mango flesh, removing it from its skin.
- Serve the mango cubes.
How to Cut a Mango by Peeling Off Its Skin
- Use a potato peeler to remove the skin from the mango, but don’t force the peeler on any hard parts.
- Turn to a pairing knife to remove any remaining parts that were too hard to remove with the peeler.
- Place the peeled mango on a cutting board and cut off the stem using a butcher’s knife.
- Hold the mango steady with one hand, and use the other hand to cut slices with the butcher’s knife, avoiding the mango pit.
- Cut mango flesh around the mango pit as best as you can using the pairing knife. You can also use the potato peeler for more delicate spots.
- Serve the mango slices or further cut them into cubes or strips.
How to Cut an Overripe Mango
- Place the mango on a flat surface with the stem-side down.
- Using a butcher’s knife, slice the mango vertically to create three slices. The center slice should contain the mango seed.
- Take out mango flesh using an ice cream scoop or a spoon.
Although it’s a matter of personal choice, we believe that peeling off the skin of an overripe mango is a mistake since you will end up with mango juices all over your hands and kitchen.
Now you’re ready to enjoy your mango however you’d like. Use it as a healthy snack or add mango cubes or slices to other dishes, such as salads, smoothies, desserts, or chutneys.
Can I Cut a Mango the Night Before?
Yes, you can cut a mango to prepare ahead. Just place the cut mango in an airtight container and keep it stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut mangoes won’t continue to ripen in the refrigerator.
Can You Cut Fresh Mango and Freeze It?
Yes, you can cut fresh mango and freeze it for up to 6 months. Here’s how:
- Place the mango slices or chunks on a paper-lined baking tray.
- Move the tray to the freezer and wait for a few hours until the fruit is frozen.
- Transfer the frozen mango pieces to freezer bags.
- Label the freezer bags with the current day and put them in the freezer.
Mango Cutting Tools
The following are the best tools for cutting mango without making a mess:
- Paring knife
- 8-inch chef’s knife
- Potato peeler
- Ice-cream scoop for overripe mangos
- 3-in-1 mango slicer, peeler, and pit remover if you don’t want to bother with common kitchen tools
Make sure to wash your mango and kitchen tools before cutting the fruit.
Can You Eat Mango Seeds?
Yes. Although the seed isn’t a popular part of the mango since it’s bitter and has a hard shell, you can still eat it. However, you can’t eat it raw.
It’s possible to incorporate mango seeds in various dishes. For example, you can make a traditional Mexican mole sauce by simmering it with mango seeds. Another example is to add mango seeds to infused alcoholic drinks, such as vodka.
Can Dogs Eat Mango Seeds?
No, don’t feed mango seeds to your pets. Similar to avocado seeds, mango seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide that can become poisonous for animals when chewed on. However, the amount of cyanide is too low to pose a threat to humans unless you eat many seeds.
Other Uses for Mango Seeds
In certain parts of the world, parents let their babies chew on mango seeds as natural teethers, especially since they leave that delicious, tropical taste behind that babies love.
If you’re a green thumb, live in a region with high temperatures, and are patient enough, you can grow a mango tree from seeds to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
This section gives you straightforward answers to common questions about mango.
Can you eat mango skin?
Yes, the mango skin is edible and highly nutritious. However, just like poison ivy and poison oak, mango skin contains urushiol, which is allergenic. So you shouldn’t eat mango skin if you’re allergic to urushiol.
Should you peel a mango before cutting?
It’s a matter of personal choice, but we think it’s best not to peel a mango before cutting it. If you leave the skin on, it won’t get as messy.
How can you tell if a mango is sweet?
You can tell if a mango is sweet by smelling it at the stem – it should give off a sweet fragrance. You can also cut the mango and give it a whiff. A sour mango indicates that it’s overripe. If it barely smells or has a neutral smell, it means that the mango isn’t ripe yet.
What color is a ripe mango?
The color of a ripe mango depends on the mango variety. For example, Tommy Atkins is a dark red blush with green and orange-yellow accents, Kent is dark green with a dark red blush on small portions, and Francis is bright yellow with green overtones.
Why does my mango taste like alcohol?
If your mango tastes like alcohol, it’s a sign that the fruit is rotting, so you should throw it away.
To review, it’s possible to cut mangoes with their skin still on or by first removing the peel using various cutting tools. You can even scoop out overripe mango and use it in various recipes, as well as eat or plant the mango seeds.