If you've never tried pitting or peeling a mango, take my word that it is a slimy, slippery and messy process. Unless, of course, you know a few tricks. You'll find a plethora of methods for cutting a mango, but after trying them all, I find this one is the cleanest and quickest. Peeling a mango with a vegetable peeler, while doable, is an extremely messy process. The peeled part becomes so slippery that it becomes hard to stabilize the fruit with your hand while you peel the rest. Instead, we score the fruit and then use a knife to slice the skin off. You may wonder: why can't I just bite into the mango and eat both the skin and fruit?
First of all – have you tasted the skin? That question will quickly diminish if you so much as lick your fingers after peeling a mango and handling the skin. Second – the skin and sap from mangos contains the same chemical found in poison ivy, so unless you want your tongue and mouth to break out in itchy hives, I'd stick to peeling it.
Because the seed of a mango is huge compared to most fruits, it is difficult to navigate your knife around it without losing a lot of the sweet flesh. It's a flat oblong shape and runs right down the middle of the fruit, so the goal is to cut on each side of the seed and separate the fruit from the seed. It's not as easy as pitting an avocado or a peach though, where you can cut around the whole fruit and then twist to release it from the pit. It's doable with a knife and some practice, but I have to say that this little gadget from OXO has been a lifesaver (and mango saver!) for the past couple of years. Before I got this, my cutting board always looked like an orange mango massacre. The seed always had flesh left on it and I would attempt to whittle away at it with my knife so not to lose any of the sweet fruit.
What You'll Need:
- 1 mango
- Pairing knife
- OXO Mango Slicer (optional)
- Cutting Board
- Stand the mango up on it's short end on a cutting board.
- Separate the fruit from the seed by cutting it into two slices. You'll want to cut along the longer axis as this is the way the seed runs. If you're using a knife instead of the mango slicer, make a similar cut to what you see in the photo below.
- Save the seed as there will still be some flesh leftover that you can scrape off or eat ‘corn-on-the-cob' style.
- For dicing: use a sharp knife to cut a grid on the mango half, trying not to cut through the skin. It's ok if you do, as you can see I was not super careful below.
- Flip the skin inside-out, making the cubes of mango stand up like a porcupine. This makes it easier to cut. You can also take a spoon and just scoop it out like you would an avocado.
- Gently slide your knife under the mango pieces, as close to the skin as possible. Once the pieces are free from the skin, release them into a bowl.
- For slicing, follow the same process, but only cut strips instead of a grid.
*this gadget works best on standard sized mango and will not work quite as well on the smaller variety like Manila.