Living in the US, it’s easy enough to enjoy seafood here without wrecking our food budget. After all, lots of affordable seafood restaurants are scattered all over the state, and most of them come with really reasonable prices.
One of the best-value seafood places we’ve tried is Captain D’s. It’s not hard to find, since it has more than 500 locations in the US. We live in Nashville and this city alone is home to 5 of these Captain D’s.
Here, you have super-affordable prices. View Captain D’s prices and just about all dishes go for less than $12. These include the White Fish, Shrimp & Crab Meal with the Southern-style white fish, 4 pieces of butterfly shrimp, and a stuffed seafood crab shell. The dish even comes with hush puppies along with 2 choices of sides.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all scrumptious seafood options are similarly priced? Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. Here are some seafood choices that can really wreck your budget:
In 2019, a sushi restaurant owner paid $3.1 million for a tuna at the Toyoshu Fish Market in Tokyo. That fish weighed 612 pounds, giving us a price of $5,065 (and 36 cents) per pound. Yes, that’s serious money.
Part of the reason for these astronomical prices is that Japan is the largest consumer of tuna in the world. Bluefin is especially prized here, due to the fatty marbling that you don’t really see in other types of fish.
The demand in just that country is so high, yet the supply is quite low in comparison. The bluefin tuna also don’t breed regularly in captivity, so it has to be caught in the wild.
Lots of people have heard of Beluga caviar, but that’s not really the most expensive type of caviar around. That title goes to the Almas Caviar, which regularly costs around $34,500 per kilogram. That’s about $15,682 per pound. On a per pound basic, that makes this more than 3 times as expensive as the bluefin tuna!
Part of the reason for these prices is that you can only get the Almas caviar from the albino beluga sturgeon, which has to be at least 100 years old. While the age isn’t really all that special (lots of sturgeons can live to over 100), the albino beluga sturgeon is quite rare. You normally have to find it in the Caspian Sea, on the Iranian side.
The caviar itself is smooth and white, with a spongy texture. With delicate salting, you get that uniquely nutty yet creamy flavor that caviar fans are looking for.
This is a seafood curry dish that you can order at the Bombay Brasserie in London. This isn’t exactly a regular Indian restaurant, since this dish costs £2,000. That’s about $2,478 if you’re an American, and you’re not counting the airfare to get to London.
Unsurprisingly, it uses the very best sea produce that the universe has to offer, along with a blend of the very best Indian herbs and spices. The dish ingredients include Abalone Sea Snails at £300 a kilo, quail eggs filled with Beluga caviar, and Scottish lobster coated with edible gold. The 10g of edible gold used here already costs more than £1,000!
This is a famous treat from Japan, where it’s known as Fugu. The people in this country eat 10,000 tons of fugu each year, despite the fact that this pufferfish is actually poisonous. The chefs must first undergo strict training before they’re allowed to handle these fish.
Pufferfish actually has more than 120 different species. The most poisonous of them all is the tiger puffer fish (torafugu), and it’s also the most expensive. You can find wild-caught torafugu at some of the more elite dining establishments in Japan, and be prepared to pay dearly for it. Each fish can cost $280, and that may not even include the markup charged by the restaurant!
Coffin Bay King Oysters
These are the largest oysters around, since they’re allowed to grow for 6 to 7 years instead of just 18 months. And it’s not just about the size, either, as the flavor and texture give you a shellfish of truly high quality. The firm meat is also juicy and tender. The flavor is somewhat sweet, but it’s more complicated than that. There’s a sharp saltiness along with an intense and lingering finish that really gives you that exotic taste of the ocean.
You can get these oysters from Coffin Bay, Australia, where it might cost as much as $100 per oyster. That’s not a type—you really pay a hundred bucks for a single oyster. To make sure you get your money’s worth and you savor the full taste, you should eat it raw, with maybe a small squeeze of lime or lemon juice.