Mangos are fun to slice, because they end up looking like little mango hedgehogs. How can you not like a little mango hedgehog?
Start with a ripe mango. How to you tell if they’re ripe? As tempting as it may be to go after red and yellow ones, color isn’t always your best indicator. The mango should be slightly soft, fragrant, and heavy for its size. You don’t want a mushy mango, but you should be able to dent it with your thumb if you want to. Slightly firmer mangos are good, too, and hold up better in cooking. A mango will ripen on your counter, so don’t be a afraid to get one that’s a little underripe if that’s all that’s available. They’re sort of like avocados in that way.
Inside a mango is a flat, oblong pit. If you go to slice it down the middle you won’t be very happy. Instead, slice off the sides first. If you hit the pit, try to cut a curving arc around it. No biggie.
Now you should have two side slices and a thick center slice containing the pit. Slice off the other two sides, getting as close to the pit as you can withut hitting it. You can use a paring knife to slice off any remaining mango meat on the pit. This is nice to snack on while you’re cutting the rest of the mango.
Now, my favorite part!
With a small paring knife, slice the mango into cubes without cutting through the skin! The size doesn’t matter. I make mine pretty small, but you could do large chunks if you want. The key is not breaking the skin. If you’re careful, you should be able to feel the tip of the knife hit the skin while you’re making your slices.
Using your thumbs, press the mango inside out. Mango hedgehog! You can now break off little pieces with your fingers (or mouth) if you want. You can also use a knife and let the pieces fall into a bowl.
You should be able to slice off the pieces fairly easily. You don’t want to eat the skin, and you definitely don’t want to snack on so much of it there’s nothing left for your dinner/dessert/fruit salad.
You can do the same thing with the other smaller side pieces, they just don’t get quite so hedgehog-like. They’re still good though!