Mango Salsa Recipe and How to Choose and Carve a Pineapple

Gracing tables at picnics, potlucks, or barbeques, this sunny summer salsa is always a hit.  This non-recipe is effortless to make too. Save slaving away in the kitchen for Thanksgiving. After all, it’s summer summer summer time.

Combine diced pineapple, mangoes, red onion, cilantro, and some lime juice and zest in a bowl. For crunch, I sometimes toss in a handful of finely diced jicama. Adventurous cooks can add a dash of fish sauce for an additional umami oomph.  Season with salt and chili pepper (such as cayenne or paprika) and your pineapple mango salsa is ready for chip dipping or to accompany any grilled meat or fish.

Pineapple Mango Salsa by Melody Fury

But but but… can I use pineapple in a can? The answer is a firm NO. No, you may not. You must carve your own. If you’re on a serious time crunch, you could pick up one of those pre-carved pineapples. I’m reluctant to buy them because of:

  1. the unnecessary packaging
  2. waste. Without a proper pineapple cutter, workers often lop off thick slabs of flesh to eliminate as many “pins” as possible.
  3. freshness and quality. I must smell the pineapple’s ripeness through the skin and see its original colour. It is also hard to track how long it’s been carved for unless it has a time stamp.

Don’t be intimidated. Choosing and carving a pineapple is easier than it looks.  A ripened pineapple should have a yellow patch near the bottom. It should be brownish-green near the middle and greener towards the top, including the leaves. If the entire fruit is brown, it’s over-ripened and may feel mushy and have a musky taste.

Smell it. The fragrance should be sweet and floral. Poke it. The “pins” should have a bit of give. If it passes the test, take the baby home.

How to carve pineapples and mangoes by Melody Fury

How to carve a fresh pineapple

  1. Slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple so it stands sturdily on the cutting board.
  2. Following the shape of the pineapple, slice the skin off from top to bottom without cutting too deeply.
  3. Observe the arrangement of the “pins” – the dots should connect in a diagonal pattern.
  4. Make a shallow cut on either side of the “pins” in a “V” shape to remove them, following the diagonal pattern to connect them. You should create spiral ridges around the pineapple.
  5. When all “pins” are removed, quarter the pineapple lengthwise and remove the fibrous core
  6. Your pineapple is ready for dicing. If you want to save even more flesh, retrieve the strips with the pins on them. Cut off and discard the pins and save the pineapple flesh in between.

How to carve pineapples and mangoes by Melody Fury

Bonus: how to dice a mango quickly

  1. Remove the two fleshy segments by slicing the mango lengthwise along either side of the pit.
  2. Score the segments into small squares. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the skin.
  3. Remove the skin from the pit segment. Pare the flesh off from the pit and dice.
  1. June 29, 2011 by TasteHongKong

    No doubt, this must be a hit. I like your variations with jicama. 

  2. June 29, 2011 by PT

    yummy!! i thought you were going to show off your knife skills (or share my pineapple cutting skills with the world)… :)

  3. June 30, 2011 by Ling

    That’s how the parents taught me to carve a pineapple :) Can’t waste any part of it

  4. July 04, 2011 by Kelly

    Mmm I LOVE mango salsa and this recipe looks fantastic!  Thanks for sharing your technique in carving pineapple as well :)  Loving your blog and so glad to be your newest follower!  Feel free to check out the giveaway going on over at my blog right now!

  5. July 04, 2011 by BestOodles

    Not only its look great taste great too, is’t it!  I made pineapple salsa similar like yours as part of brunch.

  6. July 12, 2011 by actorsdiet

    pineapples and mangos are the most delicious fruits ever.  i wish you could just eat them whole!

  7. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    I completely agree and I often do. It wouldn’t make for a very good blog post now, would it?

  8. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    I bet it was delicious! :)

  9. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    You are so sweet Kelly! I’ll be right over to check out yours!

  10. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    *fist bump* girlfriend

  11. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury


  12. July 12, 2011 by Melody Fury

    Thanks doll. You must have plenty of amazing Filipino mangoes in HK. *Jealous*

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