2 pounds pig ears
2 cups champagne vinegar
1/2 cup smashed raw garlic
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon chile flakes
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
8 cups mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons celery seeds
2 tablespoons chile flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups frying oil
Sliced scallions, for garnish
For the pickle brine: Rinse the pig ears under cold water. Then pat dry with paper towels and place in 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Add 1 gallon water, the champagne vinegar, garlic, salt, chile flakes, coriander, mustard seeds, thyme and bay leaves. Soak the pig ears in the brine overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook until you can pierce a knife through the ear, 3 to 4 hours.
Remove the ears from the brine using a strainer, being carful to avoid tearing the ears. Place the ears on a baking sheet to cool and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For the sauce: In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, chili garlic sauce, cayenne, celery seeds, chile flakes and some salt and pepper. Whisk until mixed, and then adjust the seasoning if needed.
Thinly slice the cooled ears.
Heat the oil in a large pot or cast-iron pan until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F.
Gently add the sliced pig ears away from you, which will prevent the oil from splashing on you. Fry, stirring frequently to prevent the ears from sticking together, until crispy and golden brown, 3 minutes. Remove with a mesh strainer and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle the ears with sea salt and transfer to serving plates. Top with scallions and serve the fried pig ears with the white sauce.
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