A mango is one of those fruits that people avoid buying because they don’t know how to cut them. I’ll show you two different ways to cut a mango.
They are in season from May to September. When you buy a mango, it should have a fragrant, fruity aroma and yield slightly to pressure from your thumb. It will ripen sitting on your counter, or you can speed the ripening process by sticking it in a paper bag. Once ripe, put it in the refrigerator. A mango should get eaten within a day or two of being cut.
To cut a mango, start with a serrated edge knife. (That’s the one with the jagged edge that you use to cut a loaf of bread.) Mangos are very slippery and you have to be very careful when peeling a mango that the knife does not slip.
Slice off the fattest part, sometimes called the “cheek”, of both sides of the mango. Notice in the photo below the position of the knife in relationship to the stem. (The stem is next to my left index finger.)
Now score the “cheek”. That means to make shallow cuts with a paring knife. Make each cut about ½ inch apart, and then turn the “cheek” and make perpendicular cuts as well.
Once scored, press the back side of the mango so that all the flesh is standing at attention. You can serve it this way or trim off the flesh from the skin.
Cut around the pit with a small paring knife.
Remove the remaining skin from the flesh.
Trim around the pit to remove the remaining flesh.
The pit is actually quite large as you can see from the photo below.
The Alton Brown Way to Peel and Cut a Mango:
I was watching Alton Brown on FoodTV demonstrating how to peel and cut a mango. His method actually produced more edible flesh, and was safe and efficient. But you do need a few more pieces of equipment for the Alton Brown method.
In addition to a large kitchen knife, you will need a vegetable peeler and a corn-on-the-cob holder.
Start by peeling the mango with a vegetable peeler
Then slice off the top (stem end) and bottom of the mango.
Insert a corn holder into the mango. This is going to act as a holder while you slice the mango. Notice how the mango can stand by itself!
Holding the corn holder, slice off the cheeks.
And trim the flesh off the pit.
Then slice the mango according to your recipe.
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