Instead of serving a raw salmon tartare, you can take a few days to cure your own salmon in your fridge at home. It adds a much greater depth of flavor and a more interesting texture.
This recipe can be adapted to use any flavorings you like, though the black pepper and coriander here was delicious served with fresh cucumber and dill on top of a pine nut tuile.
Home-cured salmon is also a wonderful substitute for lox if thinly sliced rather than cubed. Nothing beats Brooklyn bagels, but the lox you can buy at the store doesn't come close to topping salmon cured at home and flavored any way you please. Click through for the full recipe
Home-Cured Salmon with Black Pepper and Coriander
(adapted from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman)
4 oz (or 125 g) sugar
6 oz (or 180 g) dark brown sugar
6 oz (or 175 g) kosher salt
A 2-3 pound salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed
Freshly ground black pepper and coriander seeds to taste
Find a non-reactive baking dish just large enough to contain your fish, but not too large. You want the brine to cover the fish eventually, so if your dish is too large, you will fail.
Whisk the sugars and salt together.
Spread half the mixture into your dish. Place the fish skin side down on top of the sugar/salt.
Cover the fish with a thick layer of ground black pepper and coriander seeds (about 1 tbsp whole seeds per pound of salmon might be right, but really, do it by eye and to taste).
Spread the rest of the sugar/salt mixture out on top of the fish.
Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and set a pan on top of it, with some weights (about 4-8 pounds) on top of that. Canned good, jars, bricks, or those dumbbells you never use would be perfect.
Refrigerate for about 48 hours, checking halfway through to redistribute the cure if necessary to more evenly cover the salmon. If it still feels too squishy, let it go longer, testing with a finger poke every 12 hours or so until it feels nice and firm.