This is a post about how to cut things and how not to cut things. Oh, and it's also about a Mango Black Bean Salad recipe. But let's talk about how to cut things first.
How to Cut a Mango
Mangoes, in case you didn't know, are really fun to cut. (This differentiates them from every other fruit, because other fruits are not fun to cut.) After cutting the fruit off the pit, you slice both sides of the mango lengthwise and crosswise, cutting down to the skin of the fruit but not through it. Once you've done this, take the mango in both hands (skin side down) and press upwards with your thumbs to turn it inside out. (This is the best part! So relish it! Take a picture!) Then use your knife to scrape the fruit from the skin and chop into smaller pieces if necessary.
How to Cut a Jalapeño
So that's how to cut a mango. Now let's talk about how not to cut a jalapeño. Lately I've been noticing that jalapeños are hotter than usual and I've even burned my fingers a little bit while chopping them. Yes, you're supposed to wear gloves to chop any hot pepper, but jalapeños are weak! I've never used gloves when chopping them. Because I'm a genius, I decided I didn't need gloves when making this recipe, despite the minor burns I got the last few times.
OH HOLY HECK! I burned my fingers so badly. Searing pain. Searing! Not only were they burned, but they were swollen and red too. Capsaicin is serious stuff, guys. I've burned myself with actual fire and it didn't hurt as much. After a little Googling, I attempted to relieve the pain by:
- Washing my hand with soap.
- Soaking my hand in ice water.
- Slathering my fingers in aloe gel.
- Rolling my fingers in sugar.
- Dipping my fingers in vegetable oil.
- Squeezing a lime over my hand.
- Coating my fingers in ricotta cheese.
- Sticking my fingers in my husband's Ben & Jerry's Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Frozen Yogurt (husband was not happy about this).
- Screaming and stomping my feet like a toddler throwing a tantrum while holding my hand under hot hot water.
It was the last one that finally worked. So make a mental note of this: if you ever get capsaicin burns on your hands, put them in scalding hot water. And know that it will be the worst pain you've ever felt. But then! Sweet, sweet relief. The hot water will open up your pores, expelling the oil from the peppers.
About the Recipe
After cutting the mango (fun!) and cutting the jalapeño (pain!), I assembled this salad. The first time I made it, I threw it together with leftover toppings from my Spicy Mango Pizza. It was so good that I decided it needed a post of its own. (But next time I make it, I'm wearing gloves.)
- 1 15 oz can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
- 1 mango diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper minced
- 1 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise & thinly sliced
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- juice from 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. (Really, that's it!)
This post was originally published on 2 August 2012.
Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook says
Great looking salad! Nice tutorial on how to cut the mango. Such a pesky pit!
Sometimes I use a mango cutter too--it's good at cutting exactly around the pit if the mango is the right shape!
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh says
Oh that looks good! Sorry there was a bit of pain involved in its assembly. Good food almost always involves some pain in the butt along the way! 🙂
Well, there's pain and then there's paaaaaaiiiiinnnn. And this was just awful!
This is perhaps...a little on the TMI scale, but I am a man, and recently I went to the bathroom after cutting some ABSURDLY hot jalapenos without washing my hands afterwards. I'll let your mind fill in the gaps here...owww. hahah
Jackie @ The Beeroness says
I've noticed the same thing about jalapenos. Is there some type of pepper growing conspiracy going on out there? I made roasted jalapenos the other day and could barley eat them, I used to laugh at how mild they were, now they laugh at me. Jerks.
But I love all the ingredients in this salad, perfect.
I've heard people saying it's the hot weather. Which makes sense. When I was in Wisconsin, I don't think I ever got a jalapeno like that, but I've had a few hot ones (although not as hot as THIS one) since moving to the South.
Sorry about that pain! That sounds terrible.
But at least you had some delicious food, right? Awesome recipe.
Yeah, I'd like to say it was worth it in the end, but I don't even know if it was. The pain was that intense. The hot water tip was from someone who ended up going to the ER for her burns, so clearly this stuff is serious!
Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board says
I never remember to wear gloves when cutting a jalapeno but I thought it was just rubbing your eyes after that would hurt - I had no idea you could actually hurt your finger just from touching it!
Nope, if you get a really hot one, it can burn your fingers too. And it is excruciating! I can't even imagine what that would feel like if I got it in my eyes...
All Natural Katie says
I would never think to put mango, beans, and jalapeno together, but it sounds delicious!
I hope that you didn't try all of the "pain relievers" in that order. Could you imagine what your hands would look like? LOL
I did try them in that order! Of course, I cleaned off the previous remedy before moving onto the next one. Because it would just be mean to get aloe and ricotta in my husband's fro-yo. 🙂
Rachel @ following in my shoes says
Holy cow, Woman -- that first photo is AMAZINGLY gorgeous... and I haven't seen a mango cut that way before. I like it -- very simple! Good info considering I just received a case of mangoes today!
Rachel @ following in my shoes says
And, I wouldn't have thought to put the zucchini in there ... love it!
It's the end of summer and zucchini is dirt cheap, therefore zucchini goes in everything right now. 😉
Thank you! And it's funny, I almost didn't post the tutorial because I figured everyone cut their mangoes that way. I'm so jealous of your case of mangoes--they are my favorite fruit!
Alaine @ My GF & DF Living says
Great tutorial! Mangos are such difficult things, but they are oh so good! Sorry about the pain involved in the process though.
Thank you! I guess I'm in the minority in finding mangoes fun to cut? 😉
Terri Morrical says
Made the recipe last night. It was fantastic - very fresh tasting. I just finished having the leftovers for lunch. I added organic brown rice to it today to change it up a bit; that worked great as well.
Oh, I love the idea of adding brown rice! That would definitely make it a more filling lunch. Thanks for the idea!
The Good Life Diary says
I didn't know you can burn yourself while chopping a jalapeño... that's crazy, but thanks for the information! The salad looks delicious and perfect for the sunny day we have in here 🙂
Yes, you can--although it's not every jalapeno (not even most), so it's kind of a crapshoot. I've never had one burn me as bad as this one though!
Heidi @ Food Doodles says
Yummy salad! So sorry you got burnt by jalapenos 🙁 Some are fine and others are just horrible! Definitely wearing gloves when I make salsa to can this year - last year I didn't. It. Was. Awful.
I have cut jalapenos for years without gloves, but lately they seem to be getting hotter and hotter. But I learned my lesson this time!
Stephanie @ henry happened says
So I have to totally disagree with you on how to cut a mango 🙂 I've tried that technique and I suck at it! So I started peeling it first then cutting. Yes, it's slippery & hard to hold onto and I may lose a finger but it's worth it to get ALL the mango. I made a salad like this last year and ate it for 3 days straight!
Ha! Well, I have tried your technique and I find it impossible! And you can still get all the mango when you do it this way! We will have to agree to disagree. 😉
Love, love. This looks so good and refreshing! I love the step by step photos too!
Don't you love when you can write out your whole recipe instructions in only one line? Sounds like a tasty combination! I can't believe that about the jalapeno though, yikes! The most burn I've felt on my fingers is from Thai chilies - I wouldn't have thought a jalapeno could do that either!
I know, I showed my husband and was like, "Look at the instructions!" And then when I got no response, I added, "See? One line!" And his response was "Oh..." I guess you need to be a food blogger to understand. 😉
Interesting! I will have to try your method! I peel it, then cut chunks, not the best method.
It's so slippery like that! I don't know how people manage to cut them that way. I can barely keep a potato in place when I cut it. 😉
I have never enjoyed cutting a mango. But I also never knew the trick of turning them inside out. I may have to make a store run later just to try this.
And I have never burned my fingers cutting hot peppers. Now if I do, I know how to fix it. Granted I still won't wear gloves. I like living dangerously.
Alright, you keep on keepin' on with your no glove wearing. You'll regret it if you get burned. 😉 I speak from experience!
Looks good, I love mangoes. My college roommate taught me that mango cutting technique years ago, and I love it.
Cutting them like that makes life so much easier! Or, at least, it makes mango cutting much easier...
nicole @nicky_olea says
Sounds yummy. I love MANGOS! I've never tried a salsa w/ black beans and mango before. Sorry about your burn-I'm sure that wasn't fun at all.
I totally learned how to cut a mango like that by watching Alton Brown on the Food Network! 🙂
It's the best way to cut them! I don't understand how many manages to cut them any other way!
Brenda Williams says
Love the jalapeno tips! Sorry, but I had to laugh while reading this post. The recipe sounds really good and the photos are super!
You know, I made something with jalapenos today--I had my husband cut them for me, but then when I was styling the photo, I picked them up with my bare hands. AND THEN I RUBBED MY EYE. Luckily it wasn't as hot as the last one and I only experience mild burning, but still! I guess I just don't learn.
Oh no!! I would never have thought of sugar and lime sounds acidic and painful, but I had to laugh a little at ricotta cheese. The hot water sounds counterintuitive, but I'll definitely remember it if I ever get a capsaicin burn. Hope you feels better! Salad looks delicious ... black beans, mango, and zucchini ...mmmm.
I was afraid of the lime juice too--I figured for sure the acid would make the burns feel worse. But I was desperate at that point! I can't believe a weak little jalapeno could cause so much pain...
Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says
I love this! I make a version of this (almost identical) but use red onion instead of zucchini. I need to try the zucchini though for even more veggie goodness!
Okay, next time I make this, I'm going to try adding red onion too. 🙂
Ouch! The jalapenos I've been getting haven't been very potent...but I know it's coming. I enjoy the combo of spicy and sweet, along with adoring anything with mango in it. I'm excited to make this one and know my hubs will like it too.
I haven't had it happen this year yet with the jalapenos, but I did just get an insanely spicy batch of poblanos. Almost inedible!