Recipe | Mango Black Bean Salad (and How to Cut a Mango)

Mango Black Bean Salad
This is a post about how to cut things and how not to cut things. Oh, and it’s also about Mango Black Bean Salad. But let’s talk about how to cut things first.

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 Mango
So that’s how to cut a mango. Now let’s talk about how not to cut a jalapeno. Lately I’ve been noticing that jalapenos 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 jalapenos 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.

Mango Black Bean Salad [Top]
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.

After cutting the mango (fun!) and cutting the jalapeno (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.)

Print this recipe
Mango Black Bean Salad

Prep Time

10 minutes

Total Time

10 minutes




  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. (Really, that’s it!)


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.

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!

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…

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. 🙂

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!

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.

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. 😉

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. 😉

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.

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! 🙂

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…

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.

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