Hushpuppies are one of those frustrating things which require practice and patience for success. When you finally get them just right, it's quite the victory. To master a dish that should be so many things at once- sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy, and fluffy- is no easy feat. —HMMessinger
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg well with buttermilk and hot sauce.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in buttermilk mixture and gently fold with a fork. Add green onions and make sure they are evenly distributed. You'll know you're on the right track at this point because your batter will already look airy and fluffy. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Heat the peanut or rice bran oil in a round, heavy pot over medium until it hits 350° F. If you don't have an oil thermometer, no big deal! When the oil starts to glisten, drop in a small piece of potato. It will start rapidly firing bubbles when the oil is almost ready, and will do a little dance and start to float when it is ready.
Use two spoons to drop the batter into the oil. Shoot for a tablespoon-sized spoonful. If the batter doesn't begin to float within a few seconds, give it a little nudge to ensure that it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. Fry for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Drain on a brown paper grocery bag and sprinkle with sea salt while hot. Serve immediately.
For the aioli:
In a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat egg yolk with 2 teaspoons acid (lemon juice, lime juice and white balsamic vinegar all work well), garlic, and mustard.
While whisking, stream in oil slowly until the mixture thickens. If it doesn't thicken, add more acid. Fold in cilantro.