How to Cut a Mango

Mangos, delicious in smoothies, luscious in salsa, can be a slimy, slippery challenge to cut. The best way to go about it is to start first with a ripe, but still firm fruit. If the mango is too ripe, it will be a mushy mess, and hard to cut into pieces, though easy enough to scoop out for pulp.

How to Cut a Mango

  • Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 1 ripe, but still firm, mango


1 The mango has a flat-ish oblong pit in the center of it. Your objective is to cut along the sides of the pit, separating the flesh from the pit.

Holding the mango with one hand, stand it on its end, stem side down. Standing up the mango up like this you should be able to imagine the alignment of the flat, oval pit inside of it. With a sharp knife in your other hand, cut from the top of the mango, down one side of the pit.

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Then repeat with the other side. You should end up with three pieces: two halves, and a middle section that includes the pit.

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2 Take a mango half and use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in it, but try not to cut through the peel. Invert the mango half so that the cut segments are sticking out like a hedgehog.

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3 At this point you may be able to peel the segments right off of the peel with your fingers. Or, you can use a small paring knife to cut away the pieces from the peel.


4 Take the mango piece with the pit, lay it flat on the cutting board. Use a paring knife to cut out the pit and remove the peel. You may be able to extract a little extra mango from around the pit.

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Wikipedia on mangoes

How to Cut a Mango

Showing 4 of 35 Comments

  • T

    Here is my Thai mother’s way to slice up a mango: peel it with a vegetable peeler–taking off another layer if you don’t like the slightly sour outer layer (which adds a beautiful tang, really) then slice the flesh away from the seed in whatever sliver width you prefer.

  • A

    I was taught, by my boyfriend who introduced me to mangoes and taught me to slice them as above, that the best way to deal with the flesh remaining on the seed was to retreat to the kitchen (either before the brunch guests arrive or after they leave), and gnaw it off like a very awkward corn-on-the-cob.

    Yes, it’s ungraceful, but to waste mango would be a greater sin. And if one can’t be a hedonist with one’s lover, with whom can one be a hedonist?

  • PV

    I’m from India, and we know how to eat mangoes there. We don’t bother to peel them (unless we want to be fancy and serve it cut into little cubes with a fork, but that really goes against the grain). What my mom taught me is:
    (1) Make 2 lengthwise cuts on the wide side of the mango, and then slice down the side so you get 3 long slices.
    (2) Repeat on the other wide side.
    (3) Slice off the skinny slices left on the two narrow sides.
    (4) To eat, hold a slice by one end, and place the other end in the mouth, skin side up. Use the lower front teeth to remove the flesh as you pull the slice out. Turn the slice around to get at the flesh on the other end.
    (5) When done with the slices, enjoy the flesh around the seed by holding it in the hand and eating all around it. Yes, it’s a messy business, but oh, so delicious and satisfying!
    The seed is the best part, and kids usually fight over it if there aren’t enough to go around. Though in high season, each person typcially gets a whole mango. I’m appalled to read that there are folks who toss the seed out with all that yummy flesh on it!!
    Trader Joe’s frozen mango chunks are all right, in a pinch, but if you ever get a chance to visit an Indian grocery store, see if you can get frozen Alphonso mango slices – you can’t beat the flavor. You also get frozen mango pulp from Indian mangoes, very convenient for smoothies or mango lassis.
    Sorry about the long post, I’m just very passionate about mangoes :-)
    (The above technique is best for “cutting” mangoes, which are usually not fibrous at all. The “juicing” mangoes are a different story altogether, and maybe I’ll post another comment if I find that I didn’t put all readers to sleep with this one!)

  • Brent

    I have been using your method for a while and it is easy and clean. We refer to it as “Hedge Hogging a Mango”.
    With regard to step 4, frankly it is the cooks “duty” to eat the flesh from the seed.

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