Grind all the dry spices into powder (4 pieces of bay leaves, 3 pieces of star anise, 6 pieces of cardamom, 1 big stock of cinnamon, 2 tbsp of Gancao, 1/3 cup of Sichuan peppercorn)
Put the spice powder in a bowl, then add in 1 tbsp of fennel seed, 1 tbsp of cumin seed, 1/3 cup of chili flake. Mix everything together until well combined.
Besides the dried ingredients. You also need to grind some wet ingredients (1.5 cups of red chili Mei ren jiao, 3/4 cup of garlic, 1/2 cup of ginger, 1/3 cups of face heaven chili)
Put the chili mixture and the ground spices in the wok. Add 1 cup of Dou ban Jiang, 1/3 cup of fermented soybean paste. Stir this on low heat until well combined. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of salt, keep mixing everything.
At the same time, get another pot. Heat up 5 cups of canola oil and 1 cup of lard. Traditionally this is done with pure beef tallow. But I don’t like that much animal fat so I just did a little change. You can use pure canola oil, it is fine. Bring the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then pour the hot oil into the wok. You should see it is bubbling a lot. That will wake up most of the flavor. And be careful, it is safer to do it in batches.
Let it cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and wait until it cools down to room temperature.
This is my recommendation for making the spicy hot pot: 2 cups of base + 8 to 10 cups of chicken broth. This recipe is enough for you to make 3 hot pot.
You can save the base in the freezer for 1.5 months.