Here’s a great fact for you. Guess what the most consumed fruit in the world is? If you said anything other than ‘a mango,’ I’m afraid you’d be wrong. Mangos are a staple in Asian cuisine. They also happen to be one of our favorite fruits! Ever really wanted one but found that it isn’t quite ready to be eaten? Well, we guess you’ll want to know how to ripen a mango? We’ve got all of the answers you need below.
How Do You Know When a Mango is Ripe?
Probably because you aren’t sat in a bad mood in your kitchen with a mouthful of tough and slightly bitter mango!
No, joking aside, there are a few ways to tell if a mango is ripe.
The simplest is to give it a gentle squeeze. Unripe mangoes feel rock hard. A ripe mango will be soft, plump, and have just a little give to it. If the mango is too wobbly, it’s time to eat it right away. It is in danger of being overripe.
You can also tell if a mango is ripe by its smell. Smell the mango around where the stem was cut. If it smells slightly sweet, it should be ready to use. If there isn’t any smell at all, then it is not quite ready.
Don’t be fooled by the color. I’ve had green mangos that were so soft and juicy. I’ve also had bright red mangos that were tough and stringy. Mangos are one of the few fruits whose skin stays the same color regardless of how ripe they are. The only way to tell is to touch, smell or taste…
Here’s How to Ripen a Mango Fast
There are a few ways to ripen a mango… No, patience isn’t a legitimate way. That would completely defeat the object of what we are trying to achieve. What you really want to know is how to ripen a mango quickly. Here are our top tips: –
Wrapping a mango in newspaper can really help to make it ripe sooner. Mango releases a gas called ethylene. The more it is exposed to this gas, the quicker it goes ripe! You might think that a ziplock bag would be better for trapping ethylene. Well, yes… And no.
While you might trap more gas, you’ll also trap moisture. Moisture, warmth, and fruit produce one thing… Mold. Nobody wants to eat a moldy mango
To use newspaper to ripen your mango, just spread a couple of sheets out, place your mango inside and wrap it up tight. It might take a day or two, but its better than waiting a week
2. A Paper Bag
If you don’t have a newspaper, a paper bag will do the trick just as well. There might be a chance that you’ve got a few lying around after your grocery shop.
It is worth noting that this is exactly the reason why you should take your fruit out of the bag and unpack it after you have been to the store. If you’ve suffered from fruit turning ripe too quickly, this might be the reason why.
Mangos and rice? That sounds like some kind of Thai dessert? In fact, it is!
In this instance, we will use uncooked rice, which you definitely don’t want to eat! If you have a mango-sized container, place your fruit inside and then ‘bury’ it in uncooked rice. Rice has a huge surface area and traps lots of air… Much in a similar way to newspaper or paper bag. This will allow ethylene to build up around the mango, making it nice and ripe.
Just like the newspaper method, this takes a day or two to work.
4. Go Bananas
No, not literally!
Remember how we said that ethylene ripens fruit more quickly? Well, bananas produce more gas than mangos. The more ripe bananas are, the more ethylene they produce. So, if you’ve got a couple of ripe bananas, you can leave your mangos next to them and should see them ripen pretty quickly. Alternatively, leave your mango in a paper bag with a banana or two for double the ethylene and double the effect.
If your mango is just slightly underripe, this can give you same-day results.
5. The Microwave Method
Alright alright! None of these are quick enough for you. Man, you must really want some soft and juicy mango. How does waiting for 10 seconds sound?
Ok, well, listen up.
Unripe mango is a little hard and bitter. Well, you can make them soft and sweet in seconds by placing them in a microwave. Here’s how to do it.
But, pay attention, this bit is important. Make sure that you stab your mango with a fork. This will allow steam from the mango to escape. Fail to do this, and you’ll have no mango and potentially a very dirty microwave!
Wrap your pierced mango in a piece of kitchen paper and microwave it on high for 10 seconds. Remove it and give it a squeeze. If it is still hard, give it another 10-second blast until you get the consistency you want.
6. Consider Cooking with Sugar?
This all depends on how you intend to use your mango, but heat and sugar will break down the mango’s cell walls. So if you just can’t wait, consider stewing chunks of unripe mango in a pan with some water and a spoonful of sugar. If you want to make a fruit preserve, this should last longer than a fresh mango normally would, so you can serve it any time you like.
Knowing how to ripen a mango is really easy, and there are lots of options depending on how quickly you need a mango fix! Our favorite is the banana method, that way, we get a bowl of mango and a banana at the same time! Do you know any tricks as to how to get a mango to ripen? Let us know in the comments.