Wattana Panich is among the most popular restaurants in Ekkamai neighborhood in Bangkok. It has hundreds of starving patrons coming in for feasting on the famous and yummy soups and stews on a daily basis. However, the secret ingredient to these full of flavor dishes might have a lot of Westerners going, ‘ what the …’!
Among the most popular dishes at Wattana Panich is the beef noodle soup that has been created using stewed and raw beef, tripe, internal organs, spices, and meatballs. However, the most important ingredient for this dish is the broth that has been simmering for about forty-five years. It does sound strange and completely unhygienic, but it is true.
Instead of throwing away the leftover broth, the owners of Wattana Panich strain it carefully and then store it for using it as a base for the next batch of soup. This has been going on for every day for more than four decades and is credited as the primary secret to the delicious dishes.
Wattana Panich is relying on an old cooking technique that is known as hunter’s stew or perpetual stew. It essentially is about leaving the stew to simmer continuously while adding new ingredients to it. This enables the broth to collect as much flavor as is possible from the ingredients, thus making the subsequent dishes delicious.
The cooks at Wattana Panich store the leftover broth every night in the fridge. This is done for the sake of preventing spoiling of the broth. Every day, about 25 kilograms of beef are added to the stew. Nattapong Kaweenuntwawong is the third-generation of his family that is in charge of Wattana Panich. He is hopeful that his three children will become the 4th generation to run the famous restaurant. It is not the most hygienic piece of history, but it is history nonetheless. So, tell us; would you be willing to try out the dishes made using broth from forty-five years ago?