How NOT to Cut a Mango

by Sarah on June 21, 2011 · 23 comments

Although I am a master at cutting up fresh pineapple (and if you haven’t seen my post on attacking a pineapple–before it attacks you–please do so), one fruit has always proved impossible for me to deconstruct: the mango.
Perhaps the reason I love frozen mango so much is not only the ease of use and guarantee of deliciousness, but also then I don’t have to face the fact that I, Miss Smart, self-proclaimed queen of culinary quirkiness, cannot properly dice a mango.
I know how you are supposed to do it. I just don’t.Maybe I could if I really tried. But, well–brace yourself for as Seuss-like rhyme–I just won’t.Besides, even if my method isn’t correct, I can still end up with some chopped up mango in the end. And that’s really all that matters, right?So, my dear little chickadees, here is how NOT to cut a mango. First, grab your mango and hold it upright. [How do you know if it’s ripe? A whole lot of guessing.*]
*Usually I just think, “Is it giving in to slight pressure? It might be ripe then.”Take your knife and peel the mango. [We could also call this ‘skinning’ the mango, but that’s a little violent sounding, isn’t it?]
If your mango is superripe, you might end up with stringy bits. Scraps are nothing to be ashamed of. Licking the cutting board in the end is half the fun.
Yes. I did just say licking the cutting board.You’ll eventually want to cut off the belly button end of the mango, to give yourself a nice base to set on the board. Things will get slippery, and quite difficult, and you might nearly cut yourself a few times……but you’ll reach the point where all that’s left is the little ‘cap’ on the end.
Cut that off, and then cut around the pit.
This will take some guesswork. I just pick a point and then apply some pressure to see if the knife will cut all the way through.
If it gets stuck, well, you try from another side.
Sometimes the pit is angled, and so you have to cut on an angle.
It’s kind of like a game, really. [Or the kind of game I think is fun, anyway.]
You’ll eventually end up with two larger pieces and two smaller pieces……plus a whole lot of tiny chunks that you scrape off of the pit.Speaking of the pit, don’t forget to scrape it as clean as possible. I had a friend in college who used to suck on this like a lollipop. By all means, go for it.
As you can see, this was a big old juicy mess of a mango, but I got some viable chunks and cut them quite nicely if I do say so myself.
Perfectly lovely for topping a cereal-fruit-yogurt mess.Or perhaps for making a minted mango, strawberry, and pineapple fruit salad?Which, by the way, you should probably not make by throwing everything into a large Tup-faux-ware container and shaking.But it worked for me.On another day, you might be feeling even more lazy than usual…and then, I suggest stopping at the point when you’ve just managed to hack off all the mango meat that you can.And, then, grab a container of soft (silken) tofu. [Clearly purchased because it was 99 cents…and because it has Kung Fu Panda on it. And Kung Fu sounds a bit like Tofu. And that’s funny.]Combine the meat from two medium mangoes with the tofu in a food processor or blender.
Get it to mixing, and then add some vanilla extract, ground ginger, and just a smidgen of cinnamon and nutmeg if you like.
Let the blender or food processor work its magic for a little longer…
…until everything is a nice, smooth(-ish) consistency.
And what you’ve got there, y’all, is a Vegan Mango Lassi.
Well, at least, that’s what I would like to call it. Having never actually HAD a mango lassi, I don’t know what it is supposed to taste like. I do know that it’s normally made with yogurt and is a little thinner than this. So perhaps I could call it Vegan Mango Mousse…but I’m not going to. I’m going to call it Vegan Mango Lassi and eat it with a spoon instead of drinking it. And I will put diced pineapple and crystallized ginger on it.Or perhaps I will add papaya and shredded coconut?Or maybe I’ll screw all that and just call it a substitute for yogurt in my cereal mess.
We can call it Vegan Mango MESS-i.
So go and practice cutting a mango the wrong way.

It’ll be fun. I promise.

Vegan Mango Lassi
(Makes 2 large or 4 small servings)*
*Also known as 3 average-sized amounts.

1 block soft (silken) tofu
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and coarsely choppes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
diced pineapple, papaya, crystallized ginger (optional, for serving)

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Serve immediately, or allow flavor to intensify in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
3. Top with diced tropical fruit, crystallized ginger, or coconut, if desired.

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