Chances are good that few woks have gathered cherries in a combination such as this — but the result is bright, crunchy, savoury and worth a try. And just because duck is the more typical go-to meat paired with cherries, we tested this recipe with strips of trimmed breast meat as well. Win-win.
Apple juice or sparkling cider is a nonalcoholic alternative to dry sherry.
Adapted from a recipe at NorthwestCherries.net.
• 225 grams boneless, lean pork
(not ground; may substitute boneless duck breast, fat trimmed)
• 2 tablespoons dry sherry
(may substitute dry vermouth or apple juice; see headnote)
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• Pinch kosher salt, plus more as needed
• 2 cups sugar snap peas
(may substitute snow peas, each cut into 3 equal pieces)
• 1 cup dark, fresh cherries
• 2 or 3 fresh pineapple rings
(from fresh-cut fruit in the produce department)
• ¼ cup no-salt-added chicken broth
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• Pinch sugar
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
• Cooked rice or noodles, for serving
• Cut the pork into thin strips, no longer than 8 cm.
• Combine sherry, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch and the pinch of salt in a mixing bowl; add the pork and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, string the sugar snap peas; cut each one in half, if desired.
• Pit the cherries, then cut each one in half or quarters, if desired.
• Cut the pineapple into bite-size pieces.
• Whisk together the broth, toasted sesame oil, the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch, the pinch of sugar and a good pinch of black pepper in a liquid measuring cup until smooth; this will be the thickening/finishing sauce for the dish.
• Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil (as needed) in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, swirl to coat.
• Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 15 to 20 seconds, stirring, then add the pork; stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, just until the meat is cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate.
• Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok or skillet, then add the snow peas; stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the cherries, pineapple, cooked pork and the sauce. Stir-fry; once the mixture is heated through and begins to bubble, taste and add salt as needed. Remove from the heat.
• Serve right away, over rice or noodles.
Nutrition| Per serving: 230 calories, 16 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar.
Bonnie S. Benwick / The Washington Post
Photo for The Washington Post by Deb Lindsey