No mess, no fuss: three hacks to peel fresh mangos

11 March 2021 - 06:00
The 'hedgehog' method is a quick and easy way to cut mangos.
The 'hedgehog' method is a quick and easy way to cut mangos.
Image: 123RF/arx0nt

With varieties like Kent, Heidi and Sensation in season from February until April, now’s the time to brush up on your mango prepping skills.

As delicious as these tropical fruits are, they can be difficult — not to mention messy — to cut and peel thanks to their awkward egg-like shape and that big seed in the middle.

Here are three hacks to take the hard work out of doing so:

1. SLICE, DICE AND FLIP IT INSIDE OUT

If you’re looking for a quick way to peel and dice a mango, try the “hedgehog” method.

First chop off the mango's two fleshy “cheeks” by cutting lengthwise on either side of the central seed.

Place one of these cheeks peel-side down on a chopping board. Then, without cutting through the skin, cut down and across the flesh creating cubes.

Repeat with the other mango cheek.

At this point you can simply scoop the cubes out of the skin using a spoon.

Alternatively you can flip the mango cheeks inside out so that the cubes stand proud of the skin creating “hedgehog” effect — see video below. Now all that's left to do is slice off the bits of fruit with a knife.

WATCH | How to peel and dice a mango

2. SCORE THE SKIN

One of the easiest ways to peel a mango is by using a paring knife.

Score the skin down the length of the fruit, starting at the top and ending at the bottom, almost as if you were cutting an orange into segments.

Work your way around the fruit until you've scored the entire skin into long sections.

To peel the fruit, simply start pulling from the top corner of a segment. It should come off easily without wasting any flesh and without much mess.

3. GRAB A GLASS 

Who needs a veggie peeler when you've got a glass? To try this trick, select a small ripe mango and a proportionately-sized drinking vessel with a sturdy rim.

Chop off the two fleshy 'cheeks' off the mango by cutting lengthways on either side of the central seed.

Cupping a mango cheek in your hand, line up the cut edge of the fruit with the rim of the glass. Press down gently, but firmly so that the glass slides between the flesh and the skin effectively separating them from one another — see video below. The fruit will end up inside the glass.

WATCH | How to peel a mango with a glass

Additional reporting by staff reporter.