Learn how to cut a mango using a few simple techniques to yield the most fruit. The bright orange sweet flesh can be sliced or diced and be enjoyed as a stand-alone snack or added to various recipes.
Sweet, tart and juicy golden flesh of ripe mangos is a sought out tropical fruit, especially when at their peak season in the spring and summer. The only hesitation in adding the fruit to recipes is the seemingly daunting task to remove the flesh.
The thick skin cannot be quickly blanched and peeled off like tomatoes, and there is a relatively large pit in the center, making it more difficult to cut. However, those mere obstacles shouldn’t stop you from treating yourself to this fragrant fruit. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions on how to cut a mango with ease!
How to Cut a Mango
The following guide is my preferred method to yield the most flesh from a mango. It only requires four major cuts and then scoring the flesh to make slices or cubes.
All you need is a sharp knife (chefs knife is recommended, but a paring knife will work) and a large spoon. If you prefer removing the skin from the mango before cutting, a Y-peeler will come in handy. Be careful when cutting, as the flesh can be very slippery.
Step 1: Slice off the sides, aka “cheeks”
Place the mango flat on the cutting board, with the bottom sitting upright and the stem pointing up. The goal is to cut as much of the cheek off from the long and oblong white pit in the center of the mango.
It’s best to cut from the widest and more flat sides of the mango first to obtain the most flesh. Position the knife adjacent to the center of the stem, cutting along the sides of the pit. You will yield two large oval pieces of fruit.
Cut the two small sides off the mango to remove the flesh from the seed. There will be four total pieces of fruit. You can cut the remaining mango flesh attached to the seed, or if you’re like me, reward yourself by eating around the pit for a quick well-deserved snack!
Step 2: Score the Flesh
Holding the mango steady on the cutting board. Make long slits lengthwise to create multiple parallel lines of desired thickness. To make cubes, turn the mango 90 degrees and cut similar sized lines perpendicular to the other tracks as to form a crosshatch pattern. Be careful not to cut through the mango skin. Score the two smaller pieces similarly for slices or cubes.
Step 3: Scoop the Flesh
Now you can remove the mango pieces two ways. The first method is called the “hedgehog.” Hold the scored mango cheeks with two hands. Then placing thumbs on the flesh side of each end, use the middle and index fingers to push and invert the skin.
This process makes the mango appear like the quills of a hedgehog. You can then use a paring knife to remove the pieces. Note that this technique only works well for mango cubes.
The second and easier method is to hold the scored mango cheek in your hand. Then using a large spoon to scoop out the fruit, scraping as close to the flesh as possible. Now your possibilities for using mango are endless! Try it with grilled chicken or grab some chips and make a mango salsa.
Once the mango is cut, store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Cut mangos can also be placed in a resealable plastic bag in portions to be used in recipes later like in smoothies. To prevent them from sticking together, you can also put the mangos on a small parchment paper-lined sheet pan, freeze until hardened, and then transfer to a resealable bag for storage in the freezer.
Nutritional benefits of mangos
The delightful flavor of mango or Mangifera indica L. also packs a nutritional punch. Mangos are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. You can see the beta-carotene in the flesh, giving its characteristic orange hue. In a one-cup serving of diced mangos, there are approximately 121 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 26 g carbohydrates, 46 mg vitamin C, and 1262 IU vitamin A, plus other nutrients (Source: USDA Nutrient Database).
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How to Cut a Mango
- 1 mango
- Place the mango flat on the cutting board with the bottom sitting upright and the stem pointing up.
- Position and cut the mango from the widest and most flat side first to obtain the most flesh.
- Position the knife adjacent to the center of the stem, cutting along the sides of the pit.
- Cut the two small sides off the mango to remove the flesh from the seed. There will be four total pieces of fruit.
- Hold the mango steady on the cutting board. Make long slits lengthwise to create multiple parallel lines of desired thickness.
- To make cubes, turn the mango 90 degrees and cut similar sized lines perpendicular to the other lines to create a crosshatch pattern. Be careful not to cut through the mango skin.
- Score the two smaller sides similarly for slices or cubes.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh of the mango from the skin. Use immediately.
- Recipe Yield: 1 mango yields about 1 cup (187g) of diced mangos depending on the size of the fruit.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or store in resealable bags in the freezer for later use.
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