How to cut a mango

How To Cut A Mango – Two Simple Methods

The mango is such a delicious fruit. They’re great in a fruit salad or meringue, and I love mango chutney or mango raita as part of an Indian meal. However, unless you know the secret of how to cut a mango, they can be rather daunting to tackle. Mangoes have a large stone, shaped like a giant almond. It can make peeling and cutting them rather tricky. Here are two great methods for taking the pain out of cutting a mango.

How to cut a mango: step 1 – remove the cheeks from the stone

First remove most of the fruit’s flesh in two thick slices either side of the stone. You can tell which way you need to cut by looking at the shape of the fruit, so you cut parallel to the stone at its narrowest diameter. This leaves you with some flesh still attached to the stone. There’s no easy way of removing this, so just use a small knife to cut away any flesh as best you can, and then slice off the skin. These pieces won’t be pretty, and most of the fruit is in the cheeks you’ve just separated from the stone, but waste not want not! Now you can deal with the main part of the mango flesh.

How to cut a mango: step 2 – choose cubes or slices

There are two methods of dealing with the mango cheeks. They both have their advantages, depending on what you’re using the mango for, its ripeness and your own personal preference. So I’m giving you them both.

Method 1 – cubes

Cubed mango cheek
Cutting a mango by scoring and cubing

Using a small knife, score deep into the mango flesh along its length to create strips. Then score across the mango at right angles to create cubes. Make these as big or small as you want them, but make sure you don’t cut through the skin. Next turn the mango inside out – at this point it looks something like a bright yellow porcupine! Now you can easily cut each of the cubes away from the skin using a small sharp knife. Repeat with the other cheek. This method is great for any recipes needing mango cubes, but no good if you need slices.

Method 2 – quarter, peel and slice

Mango cheek cut into four pieces
The two mango cheeks halved lengthways

Take one cheek and cut it along its length. Using a small, sharp knife cut carefully just inside the skin of the mango quarter to separate the flesh from the skin. Repeat with the other cheek. You can now cut your mango quarters as required. This method is fine for cubes, but even better for recipes needing mango slices.

Slicing under the skin of a mango
Slicing between the skin and flesh of the halved mango cheek

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How to peel shallots quickly and easily

How to peel shallots quickly and easily – a no-fuss method

Shallots are a fantastic ingredient that make a great addition to so many recipes. You can chop them up finely in a sauce, or add them whole in bulk to all sorts of stews and casseroles where they will hold their shape quite nicely. The main problem I used to find with these little oniony delights, is that they’re an absolute pain to peel. The skins are so thin and fragile that they easily fragment and splinter. It can take a ridiculous amount of time to peel shallots in this way.

Peel all these shallots in under five minutes using the hot water method
Peel all these shallots in under five minutes using the hot water method

It’s not so bad if you only need one or two, but if you want to add a dozen to a casserole it’s another matter. In the past it’s even put me off using them altogether. I would throw in a chopped onion or two instead, just because they were easier to prepare.

If only I’d known how to peel shallots easily, because the answer is so simple once you know the secret. It turns an absolute pig of a job into a fuss-free bit of food preparation.

 

 

Just add hot water to peel shallots – a no-fuss method

Yes, it really is as simple as just adding water! Simply put your shallots in a bowl while you put the kettle on to boil. Cover them with piping hot water, and a few seconds later the shallots are ready to peel.

Plunge shallots in boiling water
Plunge shallots in boiling water

After they’ve been plunged in boiling water for just a few seconds, shallots slip easily from their skins. Just use a knife to top and tail the shallots, and the skin will peel off with little effort at all!

So next time you read a recipe that needs you to peel 15 shallots, don’t groan and turn the page – just remember to add hot water.

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