I hate to admit it, but I avoided eating fresh mangoes for the longest time because I had trouble peeling them without destroying half the fruit. Maybe you’ve felt this way too.
After watching me hack up a mango one too many times, my mother-in-law took me aside one day and showed me a life-changing tip that finally had me peeling and serving mangoes in the most efficient, least messy way.
Growing up in Northern India, my mother-in-law had a large tree in her yard that was both a favorite hangout for her and her siblings, as well as a producer of the most delicious mangoes. Because of this, my mother-in-law has learned a myriad of ways to peel and eat a mango, but her favorite trick—the one that she eventually taught me—is by far the simplest. All you need is a paring knife and a glass cup.
How to Peel a Mango With a Glass Cup
You’re going to dissect your mango into four parts. First, remember that the pit of the mango is long and flat, with two fuller sides of fruit on either side of the pit. Starting off-center from the stem at the tip of the mango, make a single long cut to take a full side of mango off, using the knife to gently separate the long, wide sides of the mango from the pit.
I actually suggest you not use your sharpest knife, as it will cut too quickly into the pit. I’ve accomplished this task with a mere butter knife before. A blunter blade will make contact with the pit, but not bite into it. You want to glide your knife downward as close to the pit as possible, without actually cutting into it.
You should end up with a long “scoop” of fruit in a spoon-shaped rind. Now do the same on the other side, so you’ve sort of got two mango saucers. There’ll be two more small side panels on your fruit on either side of the pit. Cut those off too, for a total of four long slices of mango, all still wearing their outer peel.
Then, put down your knife and pick up the glass. Yes, your glass will now do the tricky part of separating the peel from the flesh!
Using the edge of the glass (I like to use a pint glass here, because it’s as tall as the height of a mango and then some), line up the mango so that the glass edge is directly under where the peel and flesh meet, facing the peel out towards your hand. Then, using gentle pressure, slide the mango down, softly pressing your hand and the peel flush with the outside of the glass as you go.
Done correctly, the skin will separate from the flesh in one long swoop. Move on to all the other pieces until all the mango has been removed from the peel.