Growing mango trees is beyond rewarding. The tree’s foliage provides shade, while the sweet fruits can be added to a lot of desserts. Harvesting mangoes may seem like a no-brainer, but cutting them is another matter.
While mangoes are one of the best-tasting fruits around, slicing them can be tricky. For one, the pit is quite large compared to other fruit seeds. The flesh is also slippery, which makes handling them challenging. There’s also the peel to contend with. So do you get perfectly cut mango cubes that will look good on a slice of cheesecake or a smoothie bowl?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’re dishing out the best hacks on how to properly cut a mango (no complicated knife skills required, we promise). Before you know it, you’ll be slicing and dicing these fruits like a pro!
How to cut a mango into slices
This technique works best with large, firm mangoes. Not sure which types of mangoes are large? Read our article on different mango varieties to know more about each cultivar’s fruit size.
To get beautiful mango slices that you can use on salads, as a garnish, or eat as is, simply follow these steps:
Step 1: Start with a steady base.
We all know that it’s hard to make mangoes stand on their end because of their rounded shape. Their juicy flesh also makes mangoes a bit difficult to handle.
To make working with mangoes a lot easier, cut off the end where the stem used to be. The flat surface makes the fruit more stable while you’re slicing it, and you’ll get uniform-looking cuts as a result. Ensuring that fruit isn’t wobbly on the chopping board can also prevent kitchen accidents from happening.
Step 2. Peel the mango.
Stand the mango on its base and steady it with one hand. Carefully run your knife from the top end (where the beak is) down to the bottom. Try not to remove any of the flesh while you’re peeling off the skin. I find that a sharp chef’s knife works well for this task.
Step 3. Slice off the sides.
Now that the mango is peeled, you can cut off the cheeks from either side of the pit. Get as much mango flesh as you can without scraping off any of the hairs from the pit. You’ll end up with 2 mango halves and a pit.
Step 4. Slice off the flesh from the pit.
Cut off any flesh from the pit, taking care not to slice off the hairs or woody part of the seed.
Step 5. Slice the mango slivers according to your desired size.
Slice, dice, or mince the mango slivers according to the recipe instructions.
How to cut a mango in half
Cubes, slivers, dices – who knew there was more than one way to serve the king of fruit? And they all start with cutting a mango into 3 parts: the halves (or cheeks) and the pit.
Let our nifty tips show you step-by-step how to cut open a mango the easy way:
Step. 1. Start with a ripe but firm mango.
Using a ripe but firm mango will give you nicer-looking cubes. It’s also easier to scoop out the flesh when the mango isn’t all mushy. You can’t use an overripe fruit for this, unless you want to end up with crushed mango pulp!
Step. 2. Cut off one end to make the base.
Cut off the end of the mango where the stem used to be. You’ll find that it’s easier to handle the mango when it has a steady base.
Step 3. Look for the pit.
Stand the mango stem-side down. This will help you see where the pit is. Try to imagine a flat and oval saucer in the center of the mango. It usually runs on the widest part of the mango, and is parallel to the fruit’s two sides.
Step. 4. Slice off the sides.
Now that you have located the pit, slice off the sides as closely to the pit as possible. You want to get as much mango flesh as you can. After slicing off both sides, you’ll get 3 parts: the left and right halves, and the middle section where the pit is.
How to cut a mango with a glass
Your pint-sized glasses aren’t just good for drinking beer on trivia night. They’re an amazing (and very safe) tool for cutting mangoes too! Sounds unbelievable? Here’s how:
Step 1. Prepare the sliced mango halves.
Follow the steps on how to cut a mango in half to get the 2 halves.
Step 2. Grab a pint-sized glass with a thin rim.
A pint-sized glass has enough space inside to catch the flesh. Also, the thinner and less blunt the rim, the faster and cleaner the cut will be.
Step 3. Gently run one mango half along the rim of the glass.
Slowly but gently run the mango half along the rim, while making sure that all of the flesh is scraped off. Soft, ripe mangoes work best for this technique. (No worries if they’re still green: our tips on how to ripen mangoes will show you how to speed up the process!)
As soon as you see the flesh separating from the peel, let the flesh fall into the glass. Repeat this step with the other half. Voila! Two scooped out mango slivers, ready to be blitzed into smoothies!
How to cut a mango into cubes
Cutting a mango into cubes is easier than you think. There’s a technique on how to cut up a mango to get consistent cubes every time – here’s how:
Step 1. Prepare the sliced mango halves.
Follow the steps on how to cut a mango in half to get the 2 halves and the pit.
Step 2. Make a crisscross pattern on each half.
Using a paring knife, gently slice vertical lines on the flesh of each half. Make sure that you don’t slice through the peel – it’s important that the skin of the mango remains intact. Follow it up by slicing horizontal lines this time. You’ll end up with a crisscross pattern that looks like a grid. Make the cubes as large or as small as you want. It’s up to you!
Step 3. Invert the mango half.
Here’s the fun part. Slowly invert the half by pushing the skin side forward. The fleshy side will open beautifully into a ‘mango blossom’.
Funnily enough, some call this the ‘hedgehog method’, but I think ‘blossom’ sounds nicer. What do you think?
Step. 4. Remove the cubes from the peel.
Use your fingers or a paring knife to remove the cut mango bits from the peel.
Note: Some people choose not to invert the half and instead use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. This method is definitely less messy. Less on the theatrics, too! But for entertaining purposes when you have guests over, I say go for the ‘hedgehog’ / ‘blossom’ method. This one has the wow factor.
Step. 5. Slice off the flesh near the pit.
Lay the pit flat on the chopping board and slice off the fleshy part. Make sure that you don’t slice off the small hairs that are attached to the pit when you’re removing the flesh. Chop the mango bits into cubes and add them to the pile.
Now you have fresh mango cubes to add to your salsa, smoothies, and lassi! Put some in the fridge if you have extra, you can save them for later. While you’re at it, be sure to follow our mango storage tips to ensure that your cut-up fruit lasts a long time.
What can I do with the pit?
Mango pits have a lot of potential when given proper care. Don’t throw them away just yet. It may take a while before you can start seeing the benefits of growing a mango tree in your garden, but it’s well worth the wait. No more store-bought mangoes for you when your tree starts bearing sun-ripened fruit!
You can ask gardening specialists in your area if your environment is conducive for these fruit trees – having one of your own is very rewarding! You can also get more information on how to grow a mango tree in your garden (and other interesting mango trivia) from our complete mango guide. Get ready to start planting!