I believe the name is Hawai’ian-Chinese in origin. In the Hawai’ian language, it’s a Puu-puu platter where the two consecutive vowels are distinctly pronounced. So Puu-Puu would be pronounced POO-oo POO-oo, like a mumu dress is actually a muu-muu (MOO-oo MOO-oo). It’s been shortened to “pu pu” on many Chinese menus. This also makes me wonder if it originated during or after WWII with all the GI’s going through Hawai’i.
When I was a wee lad I would giggle when we’d go to a Chinese restaurant and the adults would order the pu pu platter (“They serve poo-poo here?” Kid humor!). I think they’re a very American-Chinese offering and a precursor to the current trend of an appetizer sampler platter found in most restaurants these days.
We have 3 great places downriver to get our PuPu on Zukins in Lincoln Park, Lucky Dragon in Wyandotte n Hawaii Island in Trenton. They both are very good that comes with Jumbo Breaded Shrimp, Spring Roll, Ribs, Chicken Wings and Rib Kebabs at Zukins or Chicken on a stick at Lucky Dragon. The name is really funny to those who hear for the first time and most say YUK. Well let me tell you this Polynesian Treat is a must try that has been around for over 70 years found first in the Hawaiian Islands and the craving brought home by our troops from WW2
You gonna Love or hate the Rib’s they been making for 42 years now cooked to perfection n fall off the bone tender n succulent, many complain they want smoke flavor well that wont happen here sorry. There method is tried n true craved by thousands of decades long customers which we so Love in out house. Rib Kabob’s make for a super unique treat, yes Pig on a Stick which be chunks of tender Pork battered n deep fried to perfection n slathered with that Open Pit dressed up secret sauce they sell by the gallon that really works on these special treats. Folks drive from dozen of miles away to fill da belly with delight as you will not find these anywhere else, so what you been waiting for.