Nina’s Tips and Techniques: Mango

How do I know if my mango is ripe?

There are so many varieties of mangoes, each with different colored skin so touch and smell are your best cues for ripeness. I choose a mango that is very soft and smells fragrant through the skin. Mangos have a confusing stage right before they are really ripe when they are soft not but juicy. I always give them 1-2 days past when they feel soft to the touch. Think over-ripe avocado…that’s just perfect!

How do I cut this thing? There is a HUGE pit in the middle!

Mango pits are large and flat – sort of like a saucer that sits right in the center. Unlike most fruits and veggies that we are used to cutting in half, a mango should get cut on either side of the pit. Start by trimming the top and bottom off the mango so you have a nice flat surface to set it on. If you cut deep enough you should very slightly slice the tip of the pit and be able to see it peeking out of one end. It will look like a white line in the center of the yellow flesh. Use this as your guide. Set the mango on end. Align your knife so it is parallel with the pit, then cut down along the side of the pit making a slight arc with your knife. Want your mango pieces peeled? Use a soft skin peeler (serrated) to peel before you slice!


Forbidden Black Rice Salad with Mango and Salted Peanuts
2 oranges
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 cups black rice
2 3/4 cup water
2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 red onion, finely minced
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, finely minced
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Supreme 2 oranges: Cut off the bottom and top of the orange so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit with your knife. Cut the orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Squeeze excess juice from the membranes into a separate bowl.
To the orange juice, add the lime juice, vegetable oil and fish sauce. Whisk together and set aside.
Combine the water and rice in a small sauce pot with a lid. Season with salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and then let steam for 10-15 minutes longer. Mix the dressing into the rice and then spread the rice out on a rimmed baking tray to cool.
When the rice is cool place it in a mixing bowl with the mango, cilantro, onion, peanuts, scallions and diced jalapeños. Mix well and adjust seasoning as needed.