A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Watch more sunsets than Netflix” (6/16)
Top Dog (a boss or leader) (6/16)
“It’s difficult to say what my wife does. She sells sea shells by the sea shore” (6/16)
“The batter with the butter is the batter that is better!” (tongue twister) (6/16)
“Bro, you want this pamphlet?"/"Brochure” (6/16)
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Entry from January 12, 2019
Four Precious Jewels (Chinese dish of shrimp, scallops, crab meat and beef)

"Four Precious Jewels” is a Chinese-American restaurant dish found on many menus in the section “special health and diet menu.” ”Four Precious Jewels ... $8.95 Jumbo shrimps, scallops, fish fillet and beef slices with snow peas, baby corn and bean curd skin” was printed in the Daily Chronicle (DeKalb/Sycamore, IL) on June 30, 1996. Chicken sometimes replaces the crab meat or fish fillet.

The Avataṃsaka Sūtra of East Asian Buddhism describes “four precious jewels” at the bottom of the sea. This probably is the origin of the “Four Precious Jewels” name.

Similar Chinese combination dishes include “Double Wonders,” “Dragon and Phoenix,” “Three Musketeers,” “Triple Crown,” “Triple Delight,” “Triple Harvest,” “Four Seasons,” “Hawaii Four-O,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Happy Family” and “Happy Together.”


Google Books
A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese
By Samuel Beal
London, UK: Trubner & Company
1871
Pg. 46:
The Avatamsaka says—“There are four precious substances at the bottom of the sea, which absorb the contributions of the Rivers constantly flowing into the Ocean.”

30 June 1996, Daily Chronicle (DeKalb/Sycamore, IL), pg. 2, col. 1 ad:
Four Precious Jewels ... $8.95
Jumbo shrimps, scallops, fish fillet and beef slices with snow peas, baby corn and bean curd skin.
(Food Star Chinese Restaurant, 131 South 4th Street, DeKalb.—ed.)

28 January 1997, Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA), pg. 14, col. 1 ad:
Four Precious Jewels ... $8.95
Jumbo shrimp, scallops, crab meat & beef slices with snow peas, baby corn and beancurd skin
(Yong Hao Buffet, Valmont Plaza, West Hazleton.—ed.)

23 April 2010, The Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville, TN), advertising supplement:
Four Precious Jewels ... 9.50
Jumbos shrimp, scallop, chicken & beef slices w. snow peas and baby corn, carrots, zucchini, asparagus
(No. 1 Chinese, 1790 Tiny Town Road, Suite C, Clarksville, TN.—ed.)

Bao’s Kitchen (West Haven, CT)
Four Precious Jewels $9.25
Jumbo shrimps, scallops, chicken & beef slices with snow peas, baby corn or bean curd skin

Cathay Gourmet (Richmond, VA)
Four Precious Jewels 11.45
Jumbo shrimp, scallops, chicken & beef slices, with snow peas & baby corn.

Lin’s Kitchen (Eastport, NY)
Four Precious Jewels 14.20
Jumbo shrimps, scallops, chicken & beef slices with snow peas, baby corn & bean curd.

Ming Moon (Middletown, RI)
Four Precious Jewels 12.45
Jumbo shrimp, scallops, chicken & beef slices, with snow peas & baby corn.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, January 12, 2019 • Permalink