Pu pu platter
|Pu pu platter|
|Pu pu platter|
A Pu Pu platter, Pu-Pu platter or pupu platter is a tray of American Chinese cuisine consisting of an assortment of small meat and seafood appetizers. A typical pupu platter, as found in American Chinese cuisine, might include an egg roll, spare ribs, chicken wings, chicken fingers, beef teriyaki, skewered beef, fried wontons, crab rangoon, fried shrimp, among other items, accompanied by a small hibachi grill.
Hawaiian origin and etymology 
In the Hawaiian language, pū-pū denotes a relish, appetizer, canapé, or hors d'oeuvre; it originally meant "snail', but also referred to small bits of fish, chicken, or banana relish served with kava. and beans.
In Hawaiian cuisine 
Since the introduction of commercial dining and drinking establishments in Hawaii, pūpū were, and remain, standard fare in island establishments. An establishment that serves "heavy pupus" will often have a buffet table with warming trays full of chicken, tempura vegetables, shrimp, poke (cubed and seasoned raw fish), small skewers of teriyaki meat or chicken, sushi, and other similar finger foods. An establishment that serves "light pupus" usually will offer only the cold foods such as poke, sushi, and vegetables. Some establishments will serve pūpū to the table.
At Hawaiian bars, restaurants, catered events such as political rallies, and private parties, establishments and hosts are known in "local" circles by the quality of their pupus. Event invitations often will state that "light pupus" or "heavy pupus" will be served so that attendees will know whether they should plan to have a full meal before the event or not.
Today, the simple platter of dried fish, grilled chicken, and slices of banana has evolved into chefs' offerings of international delicacies arranged for visual as well as gustatory pleasure. Modern "pupu platters" can hold offerings of anything from traditional Hawaiian fare to exotic combinations.
In American Chinese cuisine 
The term "pupu platter" appears to be a mid-20th century introduction to the American Chinese culinary lexicon, though the concept of serving pūpū appears to have spread to North America from Hawai`i via such entrepreneurs as Don the Beachcomber, Jacob Adams, and Trader Vic during the craze for "Polynesian-style" food of the 1940s and 1950s. The "pupu platter" of that time was actually based largely on Cantonese cuisine as interpreted by American bar owners who catered to the American taste for exotic Polynesian/Asian dishes. During this period, most Chinese restaurants in the United States were Cantonese-operated. Such restaurants catered to the more conservative American public while still providing a taste of the exotic, and may have provided a "pupu platter," though not necessarily by that name. It is also commonly known as a BoBo Platter.
See also 
- Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert (2003). "lookup of pūpū ". in Hawaiian Dictionary. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
- Unlike in American Chinese cuisine, the Hawaiian dish is referred to simply as "pūpū" or "pūpūs," without the word "platter."
- Heyhoe, Kate. Way, Thomas. A Chicken in Every Pot: Global Recipes for the World's Most Popular Bird.  (2004). Capital Books. ISBN 1-931868-32-8