Reader: Help! It might sound silly, but I have no idea how to chop tropical fruit. My baby is eating mangoes like crazy this summer and I have the hardest time chopping them. Thanks to Bryant’s last post on chopping, I actually know how to use more than one knife on my butcher block. Can we please ask him if he’ll tell readers, ahem, me, how to cut mangoes? Thanks so much!
Cherise, Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Bryant: Chopping a mango is pretty easy. There is really no wrong way to do it. However some ways are easier to do and a little less messy to eat than others. In my house it’s done two different ways. My lovely wife is Filipino and she has her way of doing it and I usually revert to my Chef training when I do it for myself. Like I said, either way works. There are several similarities between the two ways. The big difference is how one deals with the skin.
Here is my step by step way of peeling and chopping mango:
1) Cut a small portion off the top and bottom of the mango.
2) Set the mango upright and using your knife begin to peel layers off one at a time. Start from the top and follow the curve of the mango down to the bottom.
3) Once peeled you are going to cut off four pieces, one from each side. Get as close to the core as possible to ensure you get as much of the fruit as possible. This will depend on how ripe the mango is. The riper the mango, the more you will be able to get off the core (leaving a rectangular shaped core).
4) Once you have your four pieces, slice them into strips of your desired thickness and then you can cut further into cubes of your wanted size and enjoy.
As I mentioned earlier, my wife has another way of enjoying her mango that works just as well. It just happens to be a little different in that one does not peel the mango first. Here are those steps as well. This method might actually be a tad quicker and is definitely one to use if you want do not want to use a fork or if you want keep your fingers clean.
1) Cut the mango into the four pieces as described in the first part without peeling. Again leaving a rectangle shaped core while getting as much of the edible meat as possible.
2) Once you have your four pieces, you can cut them into slightly smaller pieces while keeping the skin on. This allows you to hold onto the pieces from the skin side keeping your hands a little bit cleaner.
3) If desired you can cut little lines into the pieces allowing easier eating. Just be sure to not cut all the way through the skin. (optional- once you have scored the pieces you can then cut the meat from the skin by cutting between the flesh and the skin).
4) You can enjoy it both ways at your leisure!