Mangos: so delicious, yet so darned difficult to render into edible pieces. The first time I tried to clean and use one was pretty much a disaster. Not so anymore. Here’s how to clean a mango in three easy steps.
But first, begin with a SHARP knife. I mean sharp. A dull blade is significantly more dangerous than a sharp one because when slicing difficult things, like a mango, it may slip out of the way and into your hand/arm/husband rather than cut through the difficult object. You can keep your knives sharp at home with with two inexpensive tools (here and here, and by the way that is not a sponsored recommendation), or you can usually get them sharpened for free at a Williams Sonoma (again, not sponsored) or a local cooking store.
1) Hold the mango on its long side on a cutting board. The pit is going to be almond shaped inside the mango, but you can’t always tell from the shape of the mango which side the flat and narrow sides of the pit are facing. Hold the mango with your dominant hand and try slicing straight down through about 1/4 of the way from the edge, as if you were to bread slice the mango and that side were the heel. You might get lucky and the knife will go all the way through. If not, move a little more toward the outside edge of the mango and try again. When you can slice through the mango, you have a pretty good idea of where the pit is. Put the newly-flat side down and cut off the “heel” from all four sides, so you have four slices with a curved outside and a flat face of fruit, and a big chunk that is the pit, that unfortunately is about half the volume of the mango.
2) Score each flat face down to the rind – gently! Don’t slice through it. Score vertically and horizontally, so you end up with a square pattern still attached to the skin.
While holding on to the end of the piece, face the knife away from you and use it at a very acute angle to shear off the little square chunks of mango. It may take one or two shears to get most of the fruit off.