How to Cut a Mango (Photo Tutorial)

May 29th, 2012 at 7:07 am

I’ve got a super refreshing salad recipe coming your way later this week. Hint hint: cucumber and mango are the key ingredients.

To grease the skids, I thought I’d share a quick photo tutorial on how to swiftly and safely cut up a mango. It will make your salad-making so much more fun. But fear not: I don’t use the fancy, “cheffy” method of perfectly dicing and fanning open the fruit. It’s complicated. I’ve tried it and failed. My method is easier and more suited for home cooks.

I used to be afraid to buy ingredients like mangoes, pineapples, and avocados because I didn’t feel confident cutting them. But now that I’ve learned the proper methods and practiced a little, no more fear!

You can do this, too. It’s easy. Here’s how:

Step #1

Select a mango that is firm but ripe, meaning it gives slightly to the pressure of your fingers but doesn’t feel mushy. I have found that color doesn’t matter that much with mangoes. Sometimes they’re more green than red but still perfectly sweet.

Start by cutting the ends off of the mango using a good sharp knife, so that it looks like this:

Step #2

Stand the mango upright on one of it’s flat ends. Use your knife to cut off the skin from top to bottom. Mango skin is thin and sturdy, so it comes off very easily. (Alternatively, you can peel the skin off with a peeler, but I find that a knife works better as some mangoes can have stringy flesh which gets caught in the peeler.)

Step 2 will look like this:

You’ll see that my mango had a large brown gash in the skin. Mangoes often have these marks, so don’t worry if yours does. The brown spots don’t permeate the flesh of the fruit. They come right off with the knife.

Once you’ve cut away all of the skin, your fruit will look something like this:

You can see the tip of the oblong-shaped mango seed in the photo on the right. The seed (or pit) is not edible, so we’re going to cut around it.

Step #3

Identify the direction of the seed. Your objective is to cut along the long sides of the pit, separating the two “meaty halves” of flesh from the seed. Use gentle pressure on your knife to let it glide naturally down the curve of the seed.

After you’ve removed the two halves of flesh, your mango should look like this:

Step #4

Turn the mango and cut along the short sides of the fruit to remove the flesh in the same fashion as you did in step #3.

You will now be left with the mango seed, pictured below, which you can discard. It looks like there’s still a lot of flesh clinging to the seed, but trust me. You don’t want to eat that part. It’s fibrous and tough.

Step #5

Now it’s time to cut up the flesh of your mango! You can simply chop it for use in smoothies and salsas, or create thinner slices like I did below for use in salads.

So there you have it. Mango chopping made easy!

Stop by later this week for my latest salad recipe (that may become an obsession this summer…) with cucumber, mango, lime, and a few other refreshing ingredients. This one’s perfect for warm weather. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!


  1. Stephanie said on May 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hallie – this is a great post! Exactly how I cut a pineapple, but never thought to cut the ends off a mango first. We use mango in our smoothies a lot for a non-phenol choice of fruit, as we are on a strict rotation diet here for our four year old – but it benefits us all, really. Your last post with the ice cream looks so yummy, but we do not use eggs. My kiddos made some watermelon slushie that day instead as it got us in the mood for a cool summer treat! Thank you for your great recipes!!

  2. I love “how to” posts like this! It’s easy to overlook some of the basics, but it really changes how you prepare food just to know simple techniques like cutting mangoes! I love your blog, by the way! :) I just recently stumbled across it, so I’m really enjoying exploring all your recipes!

  3. Thank you sooo much for posting this!! I made salads with mangoes twice this week and mutilated both. I even watched a YouTube video but it wasn’t very helpful for helping me find the direction of the seed. Cutting the ends off will definitely help! Thanks!

  4. I have avoided mangoes since my last “not so successful” attempt at cutting one up. This technique seems to make much more sense . I will be trying it when I make your cucumber/mango salad. Thanks!

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