Until recently, I was extremely perplexed by mangoes. I often saw them at the grocery store--big lumpy globes on sale for $1.00. I was tempted by their price tag, but the few times I bought one, trying to slice it turned into an ordeal that was not worth my time, and I ended up with slimy shards of fruit that were hardly enjoyable to eat.
But then, in a flash of brilliance, I decided to go at it with my handy vegetable peeler, et voila! A beautifully sliced mango. So without further ado, let me share my method.
First of all, you need a good vegetable peeler. The little plastic guy you got for $3.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond just isn't going to cut it for this job. (I know because I tried.)
I have a Wolfgang Puck peeler that I got from one of my former co-workers who had a friend that sold them through some sort of direct sales company (a la Pampered Chef, except it wasn't Pampered Chef). It's something like the one on the far left in this listing from HSN, though I can't find the exact one I have. But it's heavy-handled and the blade is sharp. It gets right through that tough mango skin. (Also be aware that some people have allergies to mango skin--I've known several people who, if it touches their mouth, get puffy, itchy lips from it. So maybe wash your hands after you've peeled.)
Anyway, I love my peeler.
Once it's peeled, stand it up on one end and start slicing flat-ish sheets off of it all around. Warning: peeled mangoes are slimy! So be careful and don't slice off any fingers in the process.
The inside of a mango is bizarre, which is why I've had trouble with them before. Check out the cross-section of a mango on this site (I'll be here when you get back!).
The core is a really odd shape and, apart from the actual seed, there's also another few layers of weird, hard flesh. So listen to your knife--if it doesn't slice easily through the flesh, you're probably trying to cut a part of the fruit that you don't want to eat.
Once you have your "sheets" of mango cut off the core, slice each one into strips.
You might feel like you're leaving a lot behind. If you don't believe me that the middle is not edible, try nibbling on it. I did. And I proved to myself that I really HAD gotten all the edible parts off!
Plus, this $1.00 mango divided nicely into 4 snack-sized ziploc bags. I'd say getting 4 snacks out of one fruit is pretty good--cheaper than chips from a vending machine, and much healthier! You could also further chop the strips into cubes for a fruit salad or a smoothie. But I've really been enjoying just eating them on their own. This method of slicing a mango works for me!