Toast the whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool slightly and crush in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Mix the sugar, salt, and spices together.
Roughly chop both the lemongrass stalks and cilantro, then mix them together, this can be done either by hand or in a food processor.
Lay the salmon, skin side down on a cutting board. Pull the pin bones from the fillets if needed. Scatter the curing mixture over the fish, and then the lemongrass and cilantro mixture. (This may seem like a lot of rub but use it all.) Sandwich the fillets together, skin side out, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Set the package on a plate, cover with another plate or small baking sheet. Place 2 to 3 cans on top to weight down the fish. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days flipping the salmon daily.
Unwrap the salmon, and rinse under cold running water to remove the spices and herbs. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Slice the salmon at a slight angle, as thin as you can.
If doing this ahead lay the salmon on a parchment lined pan, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on a slice of cucumber or a fingerling potato. Garnish with herbs and serve.
Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved