In a wok over medium heat, add the oil and the ginger. Cook the ginger for about a minute until caramelized, making sure it doesn't burn. Add the bay leaves, whole garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves. Cook for another 2 minutes, until very fragrant.
Add the Sichuan peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy hot pot soup base. Cook for another 2 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the pot you'll be using for your hot pot meal. You want the pot to be relatively wide and at least 6 inches deep.
To make the dipping sauce, simply combine whatever mix of ingredients you like.
To assemble the hotpot, simply plug in your hot plate, place the prepared pot of broth on top, and bring to a low boil or simmer. Place all of your prepared ingredients around it, have everyone mix up their own dipping sauces, and dive in. Each person just takes whatever they want, adds it to the pot, waits for it to cook, and then dips it into their sauce. As the water evaporates as you're cooking, add boiling water to the pot as needed. You can also serve rice with hot pot (we do), but it's not mandatory.
Sichuan Hot Pot by The Woks of Life. Recipe URL: https://thewoksoflife.com/hot-pot/