How to Cut Up a Mango

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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We’re walking you through the easiest way to cut a mango today so that you can confidently buy and enjoy this juicy, tropical, tart fruit all spring and summer long!

a halved mango with the flesh cut into cubes and the flesh of the mango turned inside out

Mangos are absolutely delicious — they’re juicy, tart, and so, so flavorful. If you don’t know how to cut a mango, though, buying the whole fruit (as opposed to the more expensive pre-cut containers of it) can feel really intimidating. When I (Brandi) finally learned how to cut a mango (on one of the shoot days for book #3), I was dumbfounded at how EASY it is and I promised myself right then and there that I’d stop overpaying for pre-cut mango and purchase the whole, uncut fruit instead! 

How Do You Pick a Ripe Mango?

Before you get to cutting mango, you’ll need to purchase one! If you’ve never bought a whole mango at the grocery store or farmer’s market, you may be wondering what you should be looking for when it comes to a ripe, ready-to-enjoy mango. Here are a few things to note on your next grocery trip:

  • Color doesn’t matter – picking a mango based on its color won’t help you get the yummiest mango of the bunch, so forget about what color the mango is! 
  • Give it a squeeze – just like avocados, plums, peaches, and many other fruits, mango gets softer as time goes on. You want to grab a mango that “gives” just slightly when you gently squeeze it, but isn’t too soft (very similar to avocados). A rock hard mango won’t be ripe enough, but a super soft one will be too ripe – feel for one right in the middle!
  • Smell it – this sounds weird, but if you give the mango a quick sniff at its stem, you should get a faint “fruity” scent. 

What Color Is a Ripe Mango?

Interestingly enough, color actually isn’t a great indication of ripeness! A fully green mango probably won’t be ready to eat, and one with yellow, orange, or even red spots would be a better choice, but the best way to pick a mango is to pick it up and gently squeeze it. Just like an avocado, if it’s really firm, it isn’t ready, and if it’s really soft, it’s probably past its “prime.”

What is the Best Way to Cut a Mango?

Cutting a mango is easier than you may expect, and all you’ll really need is a cutting board + a sharp knife; we also recommend having a paper towel or dish towel nearby to help clean up any juice that’s running off the cutting board! Read on for our step-by-step instruction. 

a woman holding half of a mango upright with a knife in the other hand
a woman holding half of a mango upright with a knife in the other hand
a woman cutting a halved mango on a cutting board
a woman holding the flesh of a mango as she slices the cubes of mango off of it

How Do You Cut Open a Mango?

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! You’ve picked and purchased your mango and now you’re standing at your kitchen counter with a cutting board and a knife wondering WHAT TO DO NEXT! Here it is: our step-by-step guide to cutting mango.

  1. Slice off the sides of the mango – to start, you’ll need to place your mango stem-side down on the cutting board. Holding the mango with one hand, and the knife with your dominant hand, slice just to the right of the center of the mango, continuing to cut until your knife meets the cutting board. This should yield a fleshy, oval shaped piece of mango. Do the same for the other side (slicing just to the left of the center of the mango this time).
  2. Score the flesh – place one of the oval shaped pieces of mango skin-side down onto the cutting board (flesh is facing up), and holding onto the mango with your non-dominant hand, use your knife to cut lengthwise slits through the flesh (but NOT all the way through the skin on the other side). Then, in the same cutting position, use the knife to cut crosswise slits through the flesh, still careful to not cut through the skin. Do the same for the second oval shaped mango piece!
  3. Cut out the cubed mango – once you’ve scored each piece of the mango, you’re ready to cut the mango cubes from the skin. To do this, hold one of the scored mango pieces with both hands and push the skin side of the mango to invert it so that the mango cubes that you scored are now prominently sticking out. Once your mango piece is inverted, simply take your knife and slice the cubes of mango off of the flesh. Do the same for the second piece of mango.
  4. Enjoy now or store for later – either enjoy the mango now, or store it for later! To store it in the refrigerator, simply place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For a longer storage option, spread the mango out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, careful to not overlap the pieces, and stick the sheet pan in the freezer. After 4-6 hours, transfer the cubed frozen mango to a large ziplock bag and continue storing in the freezer until ready to enjoy. Freezing the mango on a sheet pan first helps it to freeze into pieces rather than one large hunk of frozen mango.

How To Cut a Mango Into Cubes

The instructions above are for cutting your mango into cubes, actually! We find that cutting the mango into cubes actually makes for the most versatile cut. 

a clear glass bowl of cubed mango sitting on a marble surface

Do You Eat the Skin of a Mango?

Though the skin of a mango is loaded with all kinds of nutritional benefits (think: fiber, antioxidants, and a host of vitamins), it actually doesn’t have a great taste or texture, so we recommend skipping it. The good news is that the mango flesh is super nutritious too!

Something to note: if you’re severely allergic to poison ivy, you may want to steer clear of eating (or handling) the skin of a mango. Read more on that HERE.

Is There a Pit in a Mango?

There is! That’s why we can’t cut straight down the middle and instead have to cut slightly to the left and then slightly to the right of the middle.

What Does a Mango Taste Like?

Mango is juicy, tart, and slightly sweet. It also has a really delicious creaminess to it!  

How Can You Tell When a Mango is Bad?

If your mango is mushy (beyond soft), oozing juice/liquid, has large black areas on the skin, or is moldy, it’s best to throw it out. Again, think of mango the way you would a plum, peach, or avocado – soft is good but mushy is not!

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How to Cut Up a Mango

This method will help you cut up a mango with ease!

  • Author: Cassy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 diced mango 1x

Ingredients

Scale

1 mango, ripe

Instructions

  1. Place your mango stem side-down on the cutting board. Holding the mango with one hand, and the knife with your dominant hand, slice just to the right of the center of the mango, continuing to cut until your knife meets the cutting board. This should yield a fleshy, oval-shaped piece of mango. Do the same for the other side (slicing just to the left of the center of the mango this time).
  2. Place one of the oval-shaped pieces of mango skin-side down onto the cutting board (flesh is facing up), and holding onto the mango with your non-dominant hand, use your knife to cut lengthwise slits through the flesh (but NOT all the way through the skin on the other side). Then, in the same cutting position, use the knife to cut crosswise slits through the flesh, still careful to not cut through the skin. Do the same for the second oval-shaped mango piece!
  3. Once you’ve scored each piece of the mango, you’re ready to cut the mango cubes from the skin. To do this, hold one of the scored mango pieces with both hands and push the skin side of the mango to invert it so that the mango cubes that you scored are now prominently sticking out. Once your mango piece is inverted, simply take your knife and slice the cubes of mango off of the flesh. Do the same for the second piece of mango.
  4. Enjoy the mango immediately, or store it for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Keywords: mango, how to dice a mango

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