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In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and the ginger. Cook the ginger for about a minute until caramelized, taking care not to burn it.
Add the bay leaves, garlic, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook for another 2 minutes, until very fragrant.
Add the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy bean paste.
Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the pot (it should be relatively wide and shallow) you’ll be using for your hot pot meal.