"He removes the broth from the heat over which it has been simmering all night. He strains it bowl by bowl through a sieve. He skims off the fat that rises to the surface as it cools, and when he sees no more evidence of shine, he adds salt and fish sauce, testing it for taste... Fish sauce is the key-in matters of soup and well beyond. Even romance, some people say. Tend your broth as if she is a sleeping beauty; keep watch over her, only waking her in the final hour with a splash of fish sauce.”
"The challenge… has less to do with the availability of ingredients than with the need for restraint. He sees himself as a guardian of purity, eschewing bean sprouts and excessive green garnish in accordance with northern tradition. They may well have opened their doors to the world, but that does not mean they must pollute their bowls."