Houston’s chain of restaurants has been my favorite eatery, their limited yet exceptional menu gives them their reputation. Houston’s Grilled Salmon is my go-to dish to order. I enjoy the appetizer so much that I order doubles and eat them as an entree. The House Smoked Salmon gets its flavor from the strong Tarragon Aioli and Melba bread. So, with the pandemic and everything, why not make the Houston’s Grilled Salmon recipe at home? 

Let’s get cooking

Houston’s House Salmon Appetizer Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Entrée (main meal)
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 240 kcal


For the Salmon

  • 1 salmon fillet, skinned
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Himalayan salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Tarragon Aioli

  • 6 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 2 tbsp Tarragon, freshly chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp dried chives
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

For Melba Toast

  • Any leftover bread slices of choice


For the Salmon

  • Place the salmon fillet on a cutting board and pat it dry with a paper towel
  • Slice the fillet into broad strips
  • Sprinkle salt and black pepper over the salmon
  • Heat your grill to 350 degrees F
  • Wrap the salmon in heat-proof tin foil and place it into the grill grate
  • Close the lid and let the salmon smoke for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes check on the salmon, it should appear opaque and flake with a fork
  • Once the salmon is cooked remove it from the oven and set it aside

For the Tarragon Aioli

  • In a mortar, crush the garlic and salt together with a pestle
  • Add tarragon into the mortar and continue to crush the ingredients together
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise till a smooth consistency is reached
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well
  • Refrigerate the Aioli till serving

For the Melba Toast

  • Cut off the crumbs from the slices
  • Cut the slices into quarters diagonally, you should have 8 pieces per slices
  • Toast the bread in a toaster oven till golden brown
  • You can flavor the toasted Melba with grated cheese and salt


  • Plate the salmon with tarragon Aioli and Melba toast
  • Enjoy the salmon over toast and a dash of Aioli

Tips for this recipe

  • You can bake your salmon instead of smoking it as well
  • The Tarragon Aioli can be substituted with savory cream dip
  • The Melba toast tastes better with 2-day old stale bread
  • If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can blend all the aioli ingredients in a blender
Keyword American cuisine, easy and simple salmon recipe, entree main course, Grilled Salmon Recipe, home made grilled salmon recipe, home made Houston House grilled salmon, Houston Grilled Salmon Recipe, Houston House Salmon appetizer Recipe, quick and healthy grilled salmon recipe, Salmon

Ta-Da, you have yourself a tasty Houston’s Grilled Salmon recipe! The smoked salmon adds the base flavor while the tarragon Aioli brings the intensity to the palate. All these flavors are washed down and neutralized by the melba toast.

Tips for Better-tasting Houston’s Grilled Salmon


There’s no doubt about this recipe being succulent and flavorful. Every component complements the other. The dish can be improved with minor tips to help you in preparing other meals as well:

  • Always buy fresh, whether it’s protein or produce. The fresher the ingredients, the more vibrant the flavor
  • Buy spices and herbs from local spice shops rather than buying mass-produced jars. Spices and herbs bought from farmers markets always taste more authentic
  • The Aioli is a sauce that is created in a mortar pestle, for ease of cooking we recommend using a blender. But we also love to stay true to the authenticity of the recipe, thus we highly recommend investing in a mortar and pestle

More recipes

A nice grilled salmon makes a great appetizer, make it a hearty meal with these recipes: 

For a tasty salmon recipe to snack on, try the Baked Salmon Sushi Roll Recipe. Healthy and simple wraps make for great starters and snacks. Don’t bore yourself with a bland salad, try Apple-Bees Shrimp Salad, it’s packed with flavor. The Barbuto Kale Salad and Black Bean Quinoa Salad are delicious salad recipes as well.