I couldn't let the clock run out on cherry season without working the fruit into a main course.
Chances are good that few woks have gathered in a combination such as this — but the result is bright, crunchy, savory 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.
Apple juice or sparkling cider is a nonalcoholic alternative to dry sherry.
Spicy Cherry Pork Stir-Fry
Adapted from a recipe at NorthwestCherries.net.
8 ounces 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
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 3 inches. 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.
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 the broth, 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 for the thickening-finishing sauce.
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.
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