How to cut up a mango?
I try but it just turns into messy, stringy, juicy clumps of mango.
Help! It tastes good...but looks very bad and I have lots left on the pit.
Hmm, I wonder if you're buying the wrong kind of mango. Here around Boston the most common varieties are the Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo, sometimes called champagne mangoes.
This link has pictures:
I just peel the outside, then slice off the flesh. The Ataulfos are especially easy, the fruit is just about fiberless and the pit is small.
Some varieties have a lot of fiber. One of my friends who lived in Jamaica told me she would take her clothes off, climb into the bath with her bag of mangoes and eat them, letting the juice run down her chin and all over her. I eat them over the sink so I can drip into it. Basically you take a bite of the fibrous pit and draw the fibers through your teeth. It's very messy and not pretty to see.
My favorite are manila mangos. They are yellow when ripe and oh good.
Here's how I eat them. Slice into 2 halves just outside each core/pit and either cut into long strips or like a diced avocado: criss cross squares for each half and then flip under with hand to eat squares. If you google "slicing mangos or mangoes" there are lots of links and tutorials with photos.
Also a mango slicer came out this year from OXO, but I've never tried it. See details here:
That makes two of us. Every time I prepare one, I think of every tip I've ever learned about slicing mangos and I still make a mess of it.
I gave up and buy frozen mango. It is dead ripe when processed and delicious. The mangoes I can get are so stringy and messy and I have tried all sorts of things. Now I just zip open the bag and enjoy.
Alton Brown of Good Eats keeps pushing this method, and it is the easiest and cleanest I have seen to date. Peel your mango with a sharp potato peeler, and slice a little off the top and bottom pointed ends so it can sit flat on the cutting board. Stick a corn holder on the top flat end, and use that as leverage as you slice off the sides around that massive pit thingie. Really easy, really clean, and you are leftover with a piece of mango-pit you can gnaw on while cooking the rest of your meal.
I broke down and bought an Oxo mango splitter.I'm not big on gadgets, but it really does a good job on slicing the slippery fruit. I do peel the outside first though since I've never mastered the crosshatching method mentioned above. Here's a photo of one:
I'm a bit mystified by this thread. My husband is the big mango eater here, he does not have great knife skills but he has no trouble peeling the fruit. He uses a serrated knife, nothing special, and peels it as I mentioned above - peel the skin off, slice the fruit off the pit. Where's the problem?
If the fruit is overripe, you can end up with pulpy messes but for ripe fruit I usually get some drips of juice and a pile of cut-up mango. We buy ours by the case. I just cut up about 8 this morning. It took about 15-20 minutes and I now have a container of fruit ready to eat.
I used to cut off the peel first, but it was always so slippery. Now I cut two slices around the wide sides of the pit, and two slices around the narrow sides of the pit. I cut the wide slices into thirds vertically, so now I have eight narrow slices. Then I cut the skin off each one and then chop it into pieces. Keeping the skin on until the end makes it much easier and cleaner.
I do something similar, kind of like the way I do an avocado. Its easy if you can visualize the innner structure of the fruit. You just slice straight down and around the pit, staying as close to the pit as you can.
To start, I stand the mango upright on the counter so the stem end is pointing at the ceiling. (Sometimes it helps to cut off the other (rounded) end to make it flat and more stable). Starting at the center with a sharp chef's knife, I slice straight down until I hit the pit, then angle the knife slightly to the right, feeling the pit as I go. Then I do the same on the second side, which is easier because you can see one side of the pit.
You're left with two pitless halves, and a pit with a small ring of mango around it (picture a cross section of a hard boiled egg). I flip the two halves over and peel them with a knife then chop or dice. You can trim the small bit of fruit still clinging to the pit, but I ususally just snack on it as I'm working.