Colorful, fragrant, and irresistibly delicious, the mango has long been an essential component of the best smoothies, salads, and Instagram-worthy breakfasts. In fact, this beloved fruit has enjoyed centuries of high regard as a symbol of love and immortality—and the latter may have some scientific backing. Mangoes benefit skin, eye, and digestive health, and are packed with essential nutrients. However, prepping a mango is easier said than done. While the nuances of cutting a mango may not be immediately apparent, this key element of your raw food repertoire may be simpler than you think.
Keep reading for our four-step guide to how to cut a mango like a pro.
Prep Your Instruments
All you’ll need is a clean paring knife and a cutting board. (And a mango.) Be sure to wash the skin of the fruit before you begin.
Separate the Seed
The main challenge in cutting a mango is the large, flat seed that occupies the center. To get it out of the way, stand the mango on your cutting board with the stem facing down.
Next, use your knife to slice downward in a straight line on either side of the stem. This will yield two pieces—referred to as “cheeks”—containing most of the fruit of the mango. Discard the seed.
Slice the Fruit
Working one half at a time, use your knife to carefully slice through the flesh of the mango without breaking the skin, so the skin will act as a bowl as you cut into the flesh. Here’s where you get to choose your favorite format: slices or dices. For slices, draw the knife lengthwise from top to bottom. For dices, follow the lengthwise cutting by with horizontal slices to form a crosshatch pattern.
Remove the Skin
Whether you’ve chosen to go with slices or cubes, there are two ways to perform the final step: removing the skin.
The first way is to use a large spoon to scoop out the mango. The second way is to pop the mango pieces up and out by pressing upward beneath the skin, then using your knife to scrape the pieces onto the cutting board or dish. Whichever method you choose, you may notice that some of the fruit pieces are still attached to the skin. If this is the case, slice through the lingering points of connection to remove them.
And voilà! You’re ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Still have questions about how to cut a mango? For an effective visual aid, check out this short video that offers a handy overhead guide straight from the source: the National Mango Board.
Up next, read on for three healthy smoothies to make when you don’t have time for breakfast.