There are so many varieties of mango and just as many ways to cut and prepare this beloved tropical fruit. When associate food editor Rachel Gurjar is blessed with a perfectly ripe mango, she methodically massages the unpeeled fruit to break down the flesh, then bites off the top and slurps out the juices through the opening—no peeler or knife needed. But for any other mango, you’re probably going to want to cut it up to use in mango recipes, enjoy right away, or store in your fridge. There are countless methods, but these two step-by-step guides should cover many applications:

The Hedgehog Method

Use this method when you need pieces of mango for a salsa, smoothie, fruit salad, or on-the-go snack. Once your mango is of optimal ripeness, remove the mango’s cheeks by slicing lengthwise as close to the flat ovalur pit as possible on both sides. (The pit is directly beneath the stem on top.)

Lay the cheeks flesh side up on your cutting board. Use a small paring knife to score the mango in a crosshatch pattern; cut all the way to the skin, but don’t slice through it. (At this point you can press the two mango cheeks together, wrap them up, and take them along as a snack.)

Invert the cheeks inside out by pressing the underside of the mango until each cube protrudes outward. Scoop them out with a spoon, pry them out with your thumb, or bite from the skin.

Peel the skin away from the pit and use a paring knife to remove the remaining mango flesh, then cut it into cubes. If you need finely diced mango, you can chop them further to the size you need. Store your prepped cubes of mango in an airtight container for up to a couple days in the fridge. Now what to do with your fresh mango? Try mango salsa, with ice cream, or in a speedy fruit chaat.

Strips to Share

This is the fastest way to cut mango to feed a crowd (or just yourself).

Using a sharp knife, remove the mango’s cheeks: Slice as close to the pit as possible, starting at the stem end, removing each side of the mango. Instead of making a crosshatch, simply halve each cheek lengthwise so that you have two long pieces.

Trim the flesh on the left and right side of the pit in order to make two more long boats. You should be left with six roughly equal pieces. Use your teeth to scrape the flesh off the mango skin, then tackle the pit—a messy but incredibly satisfying endeavor.

Mango-nificent Mango With Fried ShallotsSpicy, salty, sweet, and crunchy—this Thai-inspired mango salad is exactly what you’re craving in the summer.View Recipe

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