For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.
Watch this video to learn how to pick, cut and prepare a mango for serving.
I'm Chef Brannon Soileau from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to work with a mango.
Here's what you want to look for on a mango. You want to push on the skin a little bit. When you push on the skin and it starts to give you light resistance, when it's fairly soft inside, you've got a good one. If it's very hard like an apple - stay away from it. Go back and look at the stem; give it a little pull. You see this stem is fairly sturdy, it hangs onto the mango. I notice that a lot of juice pours out the end; I also notice this big-time fragrance bouquet coming out of the mango. All those are signs I've got a decent mango in my hand.
The pit runs in the center of the mango, vertically, so here's what I'm going to do: I have to shore it up. Take the end off both sides: just a little bit off both ends. Now I have a product that's safe; I can work with it. I'm going to peel one side for you, and I'm going to show you another way of presenting it with the skin on.
I use a sawing motion, and I peel a slice of skin right off. Again I use the sawing motion, and I go down through the mango. And I'm going to go one more time to remove a last slice of skin. The pit is inside of this fruit, right here. It runs this way, vertically through the mango. With the tip of my knife I find that pit, and I carve right down the side of it. See, there's the actual pit that's in the center. Now I have one part that's full of meat right here, and then we have to go back and peel this pulp out of the other side of it. Remember, always go down to a secure base. [He lays the mango down with the cut surface on the cutting board to cut the next slice horizontally.] I find the pit with the tip of my knife, and now I want to carve around that pit - and out comes the pure fruit.
Now I'll show you a couple of different ways to work with it. [He takes the peeled half of the fruit.] I turn it over and get those vertical slices going, cutting them in uniform shapes. Then like a deck of cards, you can line these up next to each other in a row; you could also curve them, creating some different shapes.
Another way of serving a mango would be like this. [This is the half that still has its skin.] You're going to cut down about three-quarters of the way through with the tip of the knife and you're going to basically create squares in that meat, not going through the skin; then go back the other way. Then you would open up the skin and then you would serve that as an interesting piece. Just another way to look at a mango.