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The Absolute Easiest Way to Cut a Mango, According to a Chef

An expert reveals her foolproof method to get this fruit ready for snacking.
mango chunks on a plate

Besides being refreshingly sweet—and quite magical when muddled in a cocktail—mangoes pack in a plethora of nutrients, including eye-protecting zeaxanthin, skin-nourishing vitamin A, debloating potassium, digestion-aiding fiber, and bone-protecting vitamin K. No wonder they're one of the most consumed fruits in the world!

We know that cutting the fruit can be intimidating if you have never done it before, so we've enlisted the expertise of Katrín Björk, author of From the North: A Simple and Modern Approach to Authentic Nordic Cooking and founder of the Modern Wifestyle. Find out how to pick the perfect fruit and exactly how to cut a mango below.

How to pick a mango

"When picking out a mango, assuming you are looking for a ripe and sweet fruit, choose a mango that is slightly soft to the touch and the skin gives a little when gently pressed," Björk says. "You can also try and smell the fruit's stem ends, and if it smells sweet, then it will taste sweet. If you are out of luck and only have unripe mangoes, keep them at room temperature so they can continue to ripen. They will become sweeter and softer over several days."

How to cut a mango

Cutting mango
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Cutting a mango can be challenging, thanks to the large, oval, flat pit in the middle, Björk says. She uses the hedgehog's method to get it right every time.

  1. Wash the fruit in cold water, using your hands to rub it as you rinse.
  2. Place the mango upright onto a cutting board, supporting it with your non-dominant hand. Hold a knife in the other hand.
  3. Cut the mango's thickest side downwards, from top to bottom, as close to the pit as you can, then repeat on the other side. This will leave you with two "cheeks" and the pit, still surrounded with some flesh.
  4. Score the cheeks into cubes without cutting through the skin. Then, press the back side of the mango cheek and turn it inside out, making it resemble a hedgehog's back. Trim the cubes off the skin using the knife or a spoon.
  5. Peel the skin of the remaining middle piece, and cut as close to the pit as possible. Cut the remaining fruit flesh into cubes.

Creative ways to use mango

Guacamole with mango
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Besides for snacking on the chunks as a healthy post-dinner dessert, Björk reminds us that mangoes are wonderfully versatile and can be used for classic Indian drinks like Aam Panna, in dressings, salads, desserts, and flavorful chutneys. "Personally, I like to sprinkle mango cubes with a few drops of sesame oil, a squeeze of lime, black sesame seeds, and a handful of roughly chopped cilantro for a vibrant side dish or a topping for my rice bowl," Björk says. We can't wait to try this scrumptious side!

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