My man has been buying a bag of dried mangoes nearly every time I send him to the store for anything. I love them so much I haven't even asked how much it costs, but I'm sure it's enough that I'd ask him to stop buying them if I knew. That's why when mangoes went on sale for $1 this week, I picked up a few. Mangoes are notoriously tricky to slice, and I'd only done it once or twice before this, but I learned all the tricks today and I'm going to share what worked well for me.
Make sure your mango is nice and ripe by squeezing it gently, it should feel soft, yet firm. If it is hard, like an apple, it is not ripe. If it is squishy like a sponge, it is overripe. As with any food prep, you want to start by washing your fruit to remove any chemicals, wax, or dirt. To cut a mango you'll need either a paring knife or a vegetable peeler, a large sharp knife, and a large cutting board. Start by removing the skin. I prefer a paring knife for this job, but you should use whatever tools you're most comfortable with.
Next you need to determine the direction of the pit. Start by standing the mango on its end and determining which direction is the widest. The pit will run in that direction and will be 1"-2" thick. Holding your mango upright, cut straight down on one side of the pit (marked by the dashed line in the left picture). You can just see the edge of the pit protruding on the middle photo. Next, lie the piece with the pit flat side down and cut on one side of the pit, angling your knife so it does not pierce the pit. Again, lie the piece with the pit left on the flat you just cut off and once more, cut directly next to the pit. During these steps you'll want to cut close to the pit, without actually piercing it. The flesh directly next to the pit is very tough and fibrous.
You should be left with a pit that has just a bit of flesh on one side. Hold the pit firmly on and angle and cut a wedge of flesh off, turn it over and repeat. The middle picture here is the flesh and pit from one fruit. Finally, slice the mango about 1/2" or 3/4" thick. You may cut the slices in half as I have done above, but it is not necessary.
And look just how much fruit you get this way! I always used to feel like I would get two little bits from my mangoes, but now I really feel like I'm getting a lot.
And now I'm going to grab the floss to get the strings out of my teeth from sucking the juices and gnawing at the tough flesh around the pit; I just can't let that sweet nectar go to waste. I hope you enjoy your mangoes, as they're in season right now. Check back in a few days to see what delectable treat I'm making with these mango slices!
(**update: Here's what I made with my mangoes**)