What Exactly is a Pu Pu Platter?
I grew up with an American lens to Chinese food. In Charleston, where I was raised we had Chinese food that mirrored a lot of other places across the country, with its own unique dishes. When I moved to New York I started to learn more about more traditional versions of Chinese food but it also gave me an appreciation for the unique sub-culture that is Americanized Chinese cuisine.
One of the best things to me - and apparently, one of the most American - was the Pu Pu Platter. It was a dish that any children who grew up in the latter third of the last century would find familiar. It had everything you could want - fire, spinning and lots of choices.
But as our culture tried to move towards greater authenticity in different cuisines a lot of these stalwarts fell by the wayside. It had been a long time since I saw a Pu Pu Platter on a menu until I recently had dinner at Kings County Imperial. So I just had to sit down with Chef Josh Grinker to get his thoughts and to really hash out the special place of this uniquely multicultural dish: