Pacific seafood from the United States Pacific Ocean contains an amazing variety of mouth-watering seafood fare that is both delicious and healthy.
Who can resist the succulent taste of buttery drenched lobster or the rich flavor of perfectly sauteed shrimp scampi?
There is nothing that has the ability to wash away the stress of a long day better than a melt-in-your mouth lemon-pepper salmon steak, especially when paired with a glass of your favorite white wine.
"So what does seafood have to do with grocery price or food price comparisons?"
Everything and here's why, seafood is one of the most expensive foods and grocery items we buy. Yet it's one of the most heart healthy meals.
Therefore it made perfect sense for us to compare seafood prices to give you the best knowledge we could on what to look and ask for before buying. And to give you the best seafood average cost of what you should be paying.
Let's Dive In:
We at Grocery411.com strive to provide you with grocery price comparisons and foods information and sterling grocery data.
Whether you are planning an intimate dinner or a large family and friend feast, the ideal menu can be found in seafood from the cold depths of the Pacific Ocean. Let's learn about wild versus farm raised seafood.
Wild Caught Seafood
Pacific seafood, especially varieties such as salmon or tuna, is among the highest in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, which means they not only taste good but they are also good for you.
While you may pay a little more for wild caught seafood (versus farm raised), the tasty benefits are definitely worth the expense.
Farm Raised Seafood
Farm raised depicts the seafood mostly found in your grocers cooler and in warehouse clubs.
Typically it’s less expensive, not as fresh and less flavorful but is more accessible. Take salmon for example, they are fed processed feeds, have a higher incidents of pesticides and will have less protein then wild caught salmon.
Furthermore if aqua farms did not color the food they would not be able to have the bright red and orange colors they obtain from their natural ocean diets of plankton and krill to name a few.
Mouth watering crab is one of the most highly prized and delicious meals you can plate of the Pacific seafood's.
Due to its varying size and price, King and Dungeness crab commands more diligence when purchasing so it helps to know a little about size, weight and their meats.
Anyone who watches “Deadly Catch” will be familiar with this and other Pacific seafood of the Bering Sea.
Alaskan king crab caught in Alaska’s pristine waters yields the largest pieces of succulent pure white crab meat that you will ever sink your fork into.
Dipped in clarified lemon butter, you palate is definitely in for a flavorful treat! If you can afford it, buy the jumbo RED king crab – the extra expense is worth it.
Types of King Crab:
The smaller king crab is also delicious, but you will be paying for much less meat. These smaller legs are the ones that will prick your fingers during what should be a very wonderful meal causing a quick trip to the medicine cabinet for Band-Aids!
"Should I Buy Small or Large King Crab Legs?"
Here at Grocery 411, we suggest that when price comparing king crab you look or count the number of legs (omitting the claws) that make up 10 pounds. Fresh seafood markets use this 10lb system as a way to measure, sort and price the legs.
If the seafood marketer advertises 10 legs per 10 pounds, then you know that you will be getting colossal sized legs about one pound each. If, however, they advertise 25-30 legs per 10 pounds, then these are likely to be
...Small King Crab Legs Which Equate to
Let’s look at the larger crab legs of this unique Pacific seafood.
Large to Colossal King Crab Legs
Some Pacific seafood markets offer blue and golden kings. Just know that all king crab is good but your red is superior in taste and flavor. If you buy golden or blue kings just be sure not to pay a red king crab price for them.
"Is it Large, Jumbo or Colossal Leg?"
Note: there is not an industry standard of how to "label by name" king crab legs by size. For example one fresh seafood market may call a jumbo or large leg a colossal or vice versa. So it really helps to ask them how many legs make up 10lbs or simply how much on average does one leg weight.
King Crab Buying Tips
King Crab Best Prices: On average pay around $25.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
The delectable taste of this crustacean rivals cold water Maine lobster in sweetness. The meat is bone white in color with burnt red hues unique to Pacific seafood. When cracked open, the legs and body contain what many consider to be the sweetest tasting fillets.
It is a medium to large sized crab, typically about 10 inches across its carapace which is the body's top shell.
Dungeness Crab Buying Tips!
You can also request that the carapace, or body shell, be removed leaving only the legs and choice body sections. Some crabbers like to season the meat before selling; however, we recommend buying unseasoned so you can enjoy the full flavor of this delicious variety on your initial purchase.
Dungeness Crab Best Prices: On average pay around $12.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
$10.00lb at Costco 3 lb box flash frozen was $30.00. We at Grocery411 purchased a box of Dungeness crab from Costco and found it to have only one leg with the claw. The rest were thin, scored or pre-cracked legs.
There was no body portions which contains the abundance of meat. Basically, you will receive a box of skinny, smaller size legs with a watery, bland flavor, lacking all the sweetness normally found in this delicious variety of crab. While the price was great, the quality was poor. When it comes to Pacific seafood definitely the fresh the better!
Snow Crab is a crab most can regularly afford to add to the menu. It is a less expensive alternative to other crab. When king crab season produces little crab the crabbers will gladly hunt out the snow crab.
Its meat is sweet, white, string like in shape and tender. The shell is easy to crack but you may have to work a little harder to get the fillets out than you do with king crab. However, the flavor is definitely worth it.
When compared to Dungeness and Kings, Snow Crab is the least expensive. If you want to enjoy the sweet flavor of crab while also saving a little money, then the snow crab is certainly a great choice!
"Chionoecetes Bairdi" AKA Snow Crab Buying Tips
Snow Crab Best Prices: On average pay around $10.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Whether grilled, baked, or served on a sandwich, this Pacific seafood is one of the most delicious and nutritious of river or ocean fares.
Its high omega-3 content is great for your heart, can boost your immunity, and may even help fight the effects of stress and anxiety. And, with different varieties to choose from, everyone in your family will enjoy the versatility of this flavorful fish.
Do you notice a trend here?
King crab and king salmon both aptly named “King” for their large size, big flavor, and from biggest state in the union Alaska!
Kings are among the most prized catches from the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean. They can weight from 18lbs to a whopping 100lb and the cooked meat is a light citrus orange in color. When grilled with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprig of fresh dill, king salmon is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Since the king salmon season runs from June through mid-November for the northern Pacific areas, this is the ideal time to purchase your coveted fare.
Wild King Salmon Buying Tips
Best Prices of King Salmon: On average pay around $14.00lb for whole frozen and $19.00lb fillets of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, about one out of every 20 king salmon will have a pigmentation or color loss. These fish are called “white” or “ivory” king salmon.
While they used to sell for less due to their light color, they are now becoming quite popular, and their increased demand with low supply makes them a more expensive Pacific seafood purchase.
White King Salmon Buying Tips
Genetics or lack of prevents storing the Ivory’s’ diet color, which would color the flesh the normal orange color.
Best Prices: On average pay around $22.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
The crème de la crème of salmon is specifically the Copper River red. Yes the price are a bit more but if you are able to get some, it is definitely worth it!
Yes, more seafood grocery price comparison, more food price comparisons to help you save your hard earned money. The Copper River Red the most expensive of the salmon species can be on your table tonight. Enjoy this fine seafood delicacy while saving money and being frugal.
Only so much makes out of Alaska because the locals buy it up so quickly, but after just one taste you will know why this firm, flaky, and rich red delicious fish is so coveted. It is in season from April through July, so for the best freshness, look to purchase during this time period.
Sockeye Salmon Buying Tips
Best Prices: On average pay around $10.00lb whole froze, of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
This variety has a light orange/pink colored meat, a firm texture, and a more mild taste than the red salmon. The delicate flavor is ideal for those who prefer a more subtle fish flavor.
Silver Salmon Buying Tips
Best Prices: On average pay around $8.00lb for whole and $11.00 for froze whole lastly expect to pay around $20.00 for fillets of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Actually I am surprised to see this Pacific seafood sold in fresh seafood markets. Here’s why the pink's meat is rather soft, bordering on mushy its flavor is salmon and is okay. It’s just a far cry from the flavor of a king or red salmon. Wait, don't let that dissuade you just yet.
What it is good for is to make delicious salmon patties and salmon salads. This variety of Pacific seafood is best used for canning and is often shipped to areas where fresh salmon is out of the question to obtain.
That being said, there is a market for fresh Pink's. This specific variety of pinks are usually farm raised and you may have seen them in coffin style coolers at places such as Sam's Club or Costco. Often they are often marketed under the guise of “Pacific or Atlantic salmon” leading the consumer to believe that they are getting an exotic salmon. Not so much.
For shoppers who are looking for the best seafood price comparison look no further pink salmon are easy to find and an inexpensive and healthy food to buy.
Pink Salmon Buying Tips
Pink Salmon Best Prices: On average pay around $8.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
We decided to list this fish so that you can be in the know with Keta! Some people claim that it got its name because of its canine-like teeth, but it’s been reported that local Alaskan Indians and Eskimos call it “dog” salmon because it’s the staple food for their sled dogs.
The fish is cut into long strips then hung to dry and occasionally smoked as well. Alaskan locals historically call it “squaw candy” and now days commonly referred to as “salmon strips or salmon jerky.”
Best Prices: On average pay around $3.00lb for whole froze and $8.00 for fillets of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Yukon River fall run chum salmon.
Whole froze chum salmon Coal Point.
Yukon River summer run chum salmon.
Halibut is caught all along the Pacific west coast; however, Homer, Alaska is the official Halibut Capital of the World. More halibut is hoisted from Homer's Kachemak Bay than from any other place in the world. This phenomenally great tasting Pacific food has tender, flaky, succulent meat minus the fishy taste.
Fillets are bomb and easy to store or prepare; however, you may want to consider buying the fish whole. You will have to cut it into individual portions yourself, but the savings will make the work worth it.
The best time to purchase pacific halibut for freshness is from March through August.
If you want to purchase a large amount, or share a shipment with a friend, it is recommended that you buy two smaller fish (20-40 lbs) since the larger halibut may contain parasites and tend to have a coarser texture.
The smaller fish have a sweeter, flakier meat that tastes awesome fried, baked, dipped in tartar sauce or drizzled with lemon juice.
Pacific Halibut Buying Tips
Pacific Halibut Best Prices: On average pay froze $15.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
The Pacific spiny variety is the largest spiny lobster in world.
While the population is in comparison to Florida’s spiny counts we still have some on the pacific. There are few to no lobsters in the waters north of Monterey, CA, so spiny lobsters will would have to be shipped to the Seattle fresh seafood markets.
Spiny lobsters have a rich, sweet taste with a soft texture. Avoid those with mushy tails as this is indicative of diver catches rather than a lobster pot or trap. Diver caught lobster is not always desired because the lobster gets over handled. They can be bought whole live or whole cooked with raw tails.
You will want to experiment with sellers until you find one that does not add excess weight to the lobster by using a heavy frozen glazing or a triple or injection solution soak. These lobsters will have white dots on their backs and no pinchers or claws.
For best price and freshness, it is recommended that you purchase your spiny lobsters directly from the markets in California, specifically those in, and south of, Monterey.
California Spiny lobsters are among the largest of this variety and can range from 1-2 feet in length and up to 25 pounds. However, the average size is about 1 and 3/4 pounds with sweet, tender meat that many say rivals that of the famous deep cold water Maine lobster.
Best Prices: On average pay around $31.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness. size and seasonal catches.
Tuna is one of the most popular varieties of fish, and the Pacific waters offer an abundance of choices from blue-fin to Albacore and yellow-fin
While certain types, particularly blue-fin are often sold as sushi or sashimi grade, this is simply for marketing purposes.
At the present time, there are no federal regulations in place for the grading of tuna, so any differentiation is based solely on preference. The market will generally set its own grading standards based on species, size, blemishes (bruising, shark bites, gaff marks, irregularities), and demand.
This Pacific seafood of wondrous flavor can range in price from very reasonable to obscenely expensive, especially if it is being used for specialty purposes such as Japanese sushi bar tuna. The quality of tuna seems to be based on what the fish will be used for as well as what part of the fish it comes from.
Some of the better tuna will be maroon in color and slightly translucent. The most prized raw tuna sashimi will simply melt on your tongue because of its high fat content. This is called Toro and comes from a very small section of the blue-fin's belly.
When buying tuna, make sure to ask that it is wild and ask where it was caught. Some distributors have been known to sell farm raised as wild.
Best Prices: On average pay about $21.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
On average expect to pay $20.82 per pound.
Whether you like them raw, steamed, or cooked in pasta sauces or in chowders, clams are one of the most popular delicacies of the Pacific seafoods.
Manila, or Japanese littleneck clams, are about 3-4 inches in diameter and are found all along the Pacific coast. However, the very popular and tasty native Pacific little-neck is harvested primarily in Alaskan waters and flown to California.
Razor clams are much larger than the littleneck variety and are a highly prized Pacific Seafood among the locals for their superior buttery flavor.
Best Prices: On average pay $6.00lb Manila clams and razor clams $20.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Known as the aphrodisiac of the ocean, oysters are the perfect complement to any entree. The Pacific seafood ocean fare offers a tasty variety of oysters ranging from the large Pacific oyster (12 inches) to the much smaller Olympia oyster (4 inches) and Kumamoto or Kumo a smaller oyster (1.5-2 inches).
Although oysters are can be a bit expensive we have done our best to find the least expensive ones for your plate. One needs few oysters to really satisfy a oyster craving. So consider serve them as the appetizer and serve a less expensive salmon as the main course.
Best Prices: On average pay around $14.50 of course this varies with quality, freshness, size and seasonal catches.
Blue mussels are superb variety of Pacific seafood found along the Pacific coast from northern California to Alaska. They have very thin brown to dark purple shells that are about 4 inches long.
Their meat varies in color depending on their diet, but is typically tan or orange. Once cooked, blue mussels have a firm, dense texture and are mild to sweet or buttery in taste. They are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids while also being low in both calories and fat.
When cooked in a light sauce of butter, herbs, and white wine, mussels make the perfect dish for every occasion.
Best Prices: On average pay around $13.00lb of course this varies with quality, size, freshness and seasonal catches.
Scallops are known for their delicate sweet flavor and are delicious raw, steamed, fried, or sautéed.
The Pacific Ocean offers four main types of scallops including the pink or bay, spiny, weathervane, or rock. The spiny and pink varieties are quite small (about 4 inches) and are typically reddish in color.
Weathervane scallops are between 6 and 8 inches and can be identified by their brown upper shells and white lower shells. Rock scallops are the largest variety (10 inches +) and have rough brown or purple shells.
Scallops are available from about the beginning of December through June and can be purchased fresh or frozen and considered a rare and scrumptious find of Pacific seafood when you can get them.
Best Prices: On average pay around $29.00lb of course this varies with quality, freshness, size and seasonal catches.
Froze scallops from Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Weathervane scallops from Kodiak Island, Alaska
Abalone is considered a gourmet delicacy, and you will pay a high price for this treat. It is actually a large type of snail that gets its name (meaning “sea ear”) because of its flat ear-shaped shell.
Abalone shells are also quite coveted due to their bright, iridescent colors ranging from red to green, pink, white, and blue. When you buy them in the shell live you get a double treat with this Pacific seafood the meat and the colorful shell.
Red abalone if found in the cold waters of the Pacific from northern California to Alaska, and is popular due to its mild taste and white, tender meat. Abalone can be eaten raw or cooked, and is a favorite among sashimi lovers. When cooked, abalone is often said to be similar to squid (calamari) or scallops in taste with the texture of veal or chicken. It is important not to overcook abalone or it will become very rubbery.
Buying fresh will ensure the best flavor; however, since abalone must be tenderized by pounding it with a meat mallet or knife handle, many people find that frozen abalone requires much less work to prepare because the process of freezing and thawing seems to naturally soften the meat.
Best Prices: On average pay around $26.00lb of course this varies with quality, size freshness and seasonal catches.
Cod is a very popular of Pacific seafood's and is known for its tender flaky meat and mild taste. Fresh seafood markets may also label it as Alaskan Pollock or Walleye.
Since its prices is reasonable and does not have a strong “fishy” taste, it is the variety of fish most often used by fast food chains such as MacDonald's or Long John Silver's.
Pacific cod also is often used to make imitation versions of more expensive seafood such as crab or lobster and is the main choice for fish sticks or breaded fillets. Cod is a great choice if you prefer a mild, sweet, and inexpensive fish.
Pacific Cod Best Prices: On average pay around $4.00lb whole and $11.50 for fillets of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Is it a shrimp or a Prawn?
Allow us to clear up the age-old question, “What's the difference between a shrimp prawn?” Well, there really isn't one. Historically, the names have been used interchangeably.
Prawn refers to a large shrimp and a shrimp being referred to as small prawn or shrimp. Confused? Let's clarify further most say "prawn" to specify a very large shrimp.
There are almost 100 varieties of shrimp along the Pacific coast so we have only listed a few of the more common types.
Since Pacific shrimping is a little “hit and miss” with some shrimp mainly the side strip, the variety of shrimp you will be able to purchase will depend on what is available at the time.
Pink Spot Shrimp: The pink spot shrimp are the most common shrimp along the Pacific coast and are found from California to British Columbia.
This Pacific seafood treat grow up to 9 inches in length and are pink to reddish orange in color with two white spots on their shells. The meat is nice and firm with a very light flavor.
When purchasing live pink spot prawn, if you are buying in person be sure to choose the ones that are lively and jumping around the seafood tank. These are from the most recent catches!
Also, looks can be deceiving. Almost 50% of the prawn's weight is its head. Therefore, the tails may be small, but the shrimp will look large because of its head and antennae. And, on the smaller shrimp, the shell on the head can be up to 3/4 of its total length. So, when selecting live pink spot shrimp, try to choose the largest ones available so you are getting as much body and tail as possible from this Pacific seafood.
Pink Spot Shrimp Best Prices: On average pay around $25.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Side Stripe Shrimp: This super sweet variety of shrimp is light orange in color with white bars on its side and antennae that are longer than its body. This rare Pacific seafood delicacy are found primarily in the waters of Puget Sound, WA. They can grow up to 8 inches long and have a firm texture with a light, sweet taste.
Side Stripe Best Prices: On average pay around $25.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches. Sold out and at times hard to get.
Dock or Coonstripe Shrimp: The coonstripe shrimp are a medium-sized prawn and will grow up to 6 inches in length. They are identifiable by their translucent coloring, brown diagonal stripes, and very long antennae. While they are not the most flavorful shrimp variety, they are still quite tasty if prepared properly and are often used in shrimp salads or sandwiches.
Coonstripe Best Prices: None could be found to buy. A Pacific seafood found in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea and the Gulf of Alaska it sells locally very quickly and is used for bait as well.
Tiger Shrimp and Giant Tiger Shrimp: Tiger shrimp average about 10 inches but can grow to be 13 inches in length. Their large size and medium-firm texture makes this Pacific seafood ideal for hors d'oeuvres, shrimp cocktails, or just a prawn steak!
They are also delicious right off the grill or dipped in butter garlic sauce. Their mild flavor complements any side dish and makes them a seafood favorite. They can be purchased live, fresh, frozen, shelled, whole, split, or butterflied. Tiger shrimp will have tiger like stripes.
Best Prices of Tiger Prawns: On average pay around $18.00lb of course this varies with size, quality, freshness and seasonal catches.
Fresh colossal white shrimp from southern California waters.
We hope these Pacific seafood price comparisons and grocery price comparisons will help educate you on what to look for when buying Pacific seafood. Our aim at Grocery411.com is to help you and our families keep receiving the best value for your grocery buying dollar.
We bet the store on it!
Know that this is not the end of the page. We at Grocery 411 will continue to add more and more fresh seafood suppliers to this page. our aim is to give you the best experience possible.
Therefore we hope this page has helped you to educate you in your better understanding and purchase of Pacific seafood. Keep returning to Grocery411.com for the pages coming soon on Atlantic and Gulf seafood, equally as delicious as Pacific seafood!