Kitchen Tips

How To Peel and Cut A Mango | A DAY IN THE KITCHEN


Never buy pre-cut mangoes at the grocery store again! With step-by-step photos and detailed instructions, learn how to peel and cut a mango a couple of different ways so you can enjoy this deliciously tropical fruit!

A hand holding a large section of peeled yellow orange mango

Mangoes are one of the tastiest fruits out there. Tropical, sweet, delicious.

But getting to that sweet deliciousness can be intimidating and a bit of a challenging task.

Luckily for you, I’m here to show you a couple of ways to cut a mango simply and easily so you can enjoy this fruit whenever it’s in season!

There are, obviously, different ways to peel and cut a mango. However, after trying various ways of cutting mangoes through the years, I’m here to show you the methods that work the best for me, every time.

The first time I tried cutting into a mango, I had no idea there was a giant pit inside. But I figured it out pretty quickly when I tried cutting the mango right down the middle and my knife hit it!

And even then, I had no idea how big the pit was. So I moved my knife over a little and tried cutting again…only to hit the again!

Let’s just say that that mango became quite a mangled mess by the time I was done with it!

A large brown speckled yellow and orange mango on the left and a smaller slender yellow mango on the right on a white surface

First of all, there are different varieties of mangoes, and while their flavors might all vary, their anatomy, so to speak, are essentially the same.

Big Fat Mangoes

I know “big fat mangoes” isn’t particularly scientific, but it’s the best way I can describe them!

Depending on where you are in the world, they can have a variety of different names, but they are all very similar. The big fat mangoes have skins with hues of green, red, and yellow. I’d say that maybe 20 years ago, many of these varieties of mangoes were more fibrous, making them a bit harder to cut. Nowadays, however, it is more commonplace to find ones that are more meaty, not very fibrous, and hold up well to cutting.

These big mangoes are quite the handful and can get quite unwieldy when trying to peel and cut them. So I start off by cutting off a bit of the base where the stem was connected.

Close-up of a knife slicing through the bottom of a yellow orange mango on a wooden cutting board

Now you’ve got a flat bottom to the mango and can stand it up on your cutting board!

Starting at the top of your mango, use your knife to peel the skin. Keep going until all the skin has been removed.

A knife slicing the peel off a large yellow mango sitting on a wooden cutting board

With the mango still sitting on its flat base that you cut earlier, you’re ready for cutting!

A large yellow orange peeled mango next to a knife on a wooden cutting board

Imagine that the pit is about ½” thick in the middle of the mango. Slice down one of the flat sides of the mango, next to where that pit is. You may feel it with your blade as you slice through.

A knife slicing into a large yellow orange mango on a wooden cutting board

Rotate the mango and repeat with the other side.

Close-up of a knife slicing a large chunk off a yellow orange mango

Next, lay your mango down and using a paring knife, cut away the meat around the edge of the pit.

A knife cutting off a section of mango off the pit on a wooden cutting board

Continue to carefully cut off any mango meat from the pit. Set the pit don’t throw it away yet!

A small paring knife resting between a mango pit and chunks of mango on a wooden cutting board

Cut the big flat sides and the large chunks you got off the mango into bite-sized pieces, slices, etc.

Cubed chunks of yellow orange mango on a wooden cutting board

Your mango is ready to eat or throw into a blender for a smoothie! YUM!

But about the pit?? Well, now you can see how big it is! It’s no wonder I couldn’t cut through the middle of the mango!

You could just go and dump that pit, but seriously, there is still a decent amount of mango on it that will end up going to waste.

This is when you get messy and just suck on the pit and scrape the meat off with your teeth! It’s not pretty, you’ll have juice all over your hands and on your face, and you’ll probably get “wedgies” in your teeth, but it’s totally worth getting every yummy bit you can! I’ll spare you any photos of me actually doing this, but look at how much you can get off the pit!

A hand holding a mango pit with the mango meat scraped off

Small Yellow Mangoes

Again, “small yellow mangoes” is not a very scientific classification, but essentially, these mangoes are smaller than the “big fat” mangoes and they are easily identified by their bright yellow skin.

Here in Hong Kong, we often get the Philippine mangoes, also known as Manila mangoes, or you might know them as Mexican Ataulfo, honey, or jade mangoes. They are less dense than the big ones, and are often sweeter and stronger in flavor.

A hand holding a yellow smooth skinned mango

For these ones, I cut off the bottom as usual so that I can stand the mango up on the cutting board. Then I leave the skin ON.

Slice down each side of the pit, just like with the big fat mango.

A knife slicing into a yellow mango set on a wooden cutting board

Hold one of the chunks in your hand and use a tablespoon to slide down between the skin and the meat. It’s that simple!

Side by side photos with a hand holding a section of mango and a spoon scooping out the mango flesh on the left, and two large chunks of mango and the peeled skin on the right

You can also just scoop and eat, straight from the mango skin! Instant gratification!

Close-up of a hand holding a section of mango and a spoon scooping out the mango flesh

For the meat still on the pit, use a paring knife to trim off the skin, and then cut away any meat.

Three photos showing cutting away the peel from a mango and cutting the mango flesh off the pit

Same advice goes for the pit…don’t let that precious mango meat go to waste!

So there you go! Two ways to cut and eat mangoes!

Also, keep in mind that for the big fat mangoes, you can also keep the skin on when cutting through them and scoop out the mango meat to eat right away, just like the smaller yellow ones!

A metal spoon with a chunk of yellow orange mango flesh scooped out from a large section of mango

They are, however, bigger than the yellow ones and end up being more than one can eat in one sitting. That’s why I like to cut them in cubes.

A white round plate containing cubed chunks of yellow orange mango

Mangoes are such a treat and often a sure tail sign of summer and warmer weather. We love to eat them as is, but I also love cutting up a mango and mixing the chunks in with fresh berries from an awesome fruit salad. Toss these into a blender and treat yourself a refreshing mango Fresh Fruit Sparkler!

The next time mangoes are a plenty in your neck of the woods, whether cut into cubes or scooping straight from the shell, now you know how you can get straight into enjoying them!

~ Lisa.

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**Post updated October 5th, 2019 with the addition of a recipe card and updated text.

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