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Spicy Sichuan Broth

Total Time
1 hr

San Francisco chef Melissa King uses this broth for hot pot, a celebratory dish that’s also an event unto itself.  The broth is very aromatic, with an alluring deep-red hue and a pleasant tingle from Sichuan peppercorns. It’s intentionally unsalted, since it will pick up so much flavor from the ingredients cooked in it; in fact, you will probably need to dilute it with a little boiling water from time to time over the course of the evening. For shopping tips, see our Asian Market Shopping Guide.

Spicy Sichuan Broth (0218)

 2 tablespoons canola oil
 5 slices (1⁄2 in. thick) fresh ginger
 3 garlic cloves, minced
 1 cinnamon stick (4 to 5 in.)
 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
 2 green cardamom pods, split
 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns*
 2 star anise pods
 5 dried Tianjin chiles* (aka Tien Tsin or Chinese dried red peppers), or 1 tbsp. clear red chili oil*
 1/4 cup Sichuan chile bean paste/sauce (doubanjiang, sometimes spelled toban djan)*
 4 quarts Pork and Goji Berry Broth
Step 1

Heat oil in a 6- to 8-qt. pot over high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add spices, chiles, and chile bean paste and fry, stirring, 1 minute to release flavors.

Step 2

Add broth and bring to a boil, covered; then lower heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes to blend flavors.


*Find at East Asian markets or online.


Make ahead: 1 day, chilled, or 3 months, frozen.