Pu pu platter

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

Pu pu platter is a type of appetizer platter in American Chinese cuisine, and more broadly, in Polynesian cuisine. The name comes from the Hawaiian language phrase "pū-pū", which means "appetizer".

History[edit | edit source]

The Pu pu platter was popularized in the United States by Polynesian-themed restaurants during the tiki culture boom of the 1950s and 1960s. These restaurants, often known as tiki bars, served a variety of Polynesian cuisine and cocktails, with the Pu pu platter being a staple menu item.

Composition[edit | edit source]

A typical Pu pu platter consists of an assortment of small, bite-sized appetizers. The exact composition can vary, but common components include egg rolls, spare ribs, chicken wings, beef skewers, fried wontons, and crab rangoon. Some versions may also include shrimp toast, fried shrimp, or teriyaki-glazed meats.

The platter is traditionally served on a large, round tray, often with a small hibachi grill in the center for warming or reheating the appetizers.

Cultural significance[edit | edit source]

The Pu pu platter is a symbol of the fusion of Asian and American culinary traditions. It represents the Americanization of traditional Asian dishes, as well as the exoticization of Polynesian culture during the mid-20th century.

Despite its origins in American Chinese and Polynesian restaurants, the Pu pu platter has also found its way into other types of Asian cuisine in the U.S., including Thai cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine.

See also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD