In Hawaii I grew up learning how to eat all sorts of tropical fruit in different ways; pineapple, lychee, passion fruit, mango, papaya, avocado, grapefruit, lemons, limes. If it grew in Hawaii, I ate it. How I ate or prepared it depended on where I was and what it was for. If I came across a papaya tree hiking I’d use my knife or a sharp rock to cut the fruit in half, scoop out the seeds with my fingers, and just gnaw it out of the peel. If we were ravenously pulling lychee off the tree in our church parking lot between Sunday School and the service, I’d just rip the peels off with my fingernails. But if you’re serving fruit to other people, or at home with kitchen tools, you might want to do it a little neater. So here’s several different ways, a step by step tutorial, on how to cut a mango.
To understand these steps, you need to know what I consider the front/back and sides of the mango. In the first photo, the front of the mango is facing towards the camera, notice how it’s wider than the view in the second photo? I always cut off the front and back first, the reason is the large rectangular pit in the mango. It’s very wide (and hard!) so by cutting off the front and back first, it just seems to get me more mango flesh.
If you’re using mango in a recipe, just eating it yourself, or mixing it in fruit salad, no need to bother peeling it. If you’re serving mango chunks/slices to people, go ahead and peel the mango with a vegetable peeler then cut in same way. It makes neater looking pieces. You might want to do it over a clean sink because it gets awfully slippery! Now, cut off the front of the mango, as close to the pit as possible.
Once you cut off the front of the mango, turn it around and cut off the back. Again, get as close to the middle as possible, if you hit the pit, just move your knife a smidge aways from it.
Once you’ve cut off the front and back, you have a few options. You can use a spoon to scoop the mango from the peel in one big piece, then you can slice/chop it up. Or you can make slices vertically and horizontally while it’s in the peel and scoop it out with a spoon in chunks. Or my favorite way because it looks so cool…
…is making a porcupine! This is perfect if you’re just eating the mango by itself. Make the horizontal and vertical slices, being careful not to cut through the peel. Simply flip the mango inside out and you have a little mango porcupine. You can bite the chunks right off the peel, or use your knife to cut them off.
Cutting the sides off are a little harder. This one had a HGUE pit so I kept having to wiggle my knife farther and farther away from it. Once you’ve got them cut off ,same rules apply (scoop with spoon, slice and scoop, or slice and turn inside out to eat). Hope this helps everyone not feel to intimidated to try mango now. It’s perfect for a snack, side, or dessert. What tropical fruit should I do a future tutorial on preparing?