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5 Best Seafood Items to Buy at Costco, According to Chefs

From scallops and shrimp to salmon and tuna, the warehouse club is awash in top-quality seafood.
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From quick and easy fish sticks to gourmet crab legs or scallops, Costco's seafood department is stocked with all the maritime essentials you could possibly need. But, with such a healthy amount of options to choose from, it can be difficult to navigate the waters and reel in the perfect fish choice for you and your family.

Experts in the field would tell you to look for details such as clear and glassy eyes, red gills, a firm texture, and both the harvest date and an aquaculture certification. They also say that where and when you shop plays a key factor, and if ever you're in doubt, you should simply consult with the seafood clerk at the counter.

If you're still floundering, even with this advice at the ready, you can also choose to follow the recommendations of top chefs who have plenty of first-hand knowledge on selecting top-quality fish. Find out which Costco seafood picks always earn a spot in their carts.

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Cedar Plank Salmon with Hickory Maple Glaze

Cedar Bay Cedar Plank Salmon with Hickory Maple Glaze
Cedar Bay Grilling Company

We've got a live one. This Cedar Bay Cedar Planked Atlantic Salmon is off the charts in terms of its convenience factor. Pair that with its savory yet sweet maple taste and you've got yourself a seafood option even culinary experts can't help but reach for.

Fashion guru turned chef and recipe creator Peter Som is one such expert who is under the salmon's spell. "As it's already packaged with the cedar plank and already infused with the flavor of the hickory maple sauce, it's a great grab and go way to feed a crowd an elegant meal in a snap," Som explains. "I usually just garnish with lots of chives, scallions, cilantro and parsley and you're good to go."

Aqua Star Coconut-Breaded Butterfly Shrimp

Aqua Star Coconut-Breaded Butterfly Shrimp

Creating dishes and meals that are shareable and satisfy everyone's palate is also of the utmost importance to Som–made evident by his soon-to-be released cookbook which he has named "Family Style." That's why bags of Aqua Star Coconut-Breaded Butterfly Shrimp are another Costco seafood sensation he's proud to reel in and serve at his own table. 

"The batter holds up so well in the oven—golden brown and super crispy—and inside is pretty darn succulent shrimp, if I do say so myself," Som says of the butterfly shrimp. "Kid-friendly for sure, but make no mistake I've served them during cocktail time and adults gobble them up pretty quickly."

Take a page out of Som's book and pair the tropical-inspired appetizer with his quick dipping sauce made up of Sriracha chili sauce, mayo, greek yogurt. and a touch of hoisin.

Trident Foods Alaskan Salmon Burgers

Trident Seafoods Alaskan Salmon Burgers

Grill master Mike Futia, meanwhile, is partial to the Trident Foods products sold at Costco, particularly the company's Alaska Salmon Burgers. The patties are made from whole salmon filets and contain 1360 milligrams of Omega-3s at just 170 calories each.

They're a great option for people who may not like or eat other kinds of meat, notes Futia, the recipe developer behind the blog Grill Frenzy. "Everyone has their own choice of meat when it comes to burgers," he says. "Plus, everyone should be catered to." Futia adds that the salmon burgers are extremely versatile and pair well with a wide range of different toppings.

Som chimes in to say that the burgers are not only a healthier alternative to beef, but they also hold their shape when cooked on the grill–a quality that can be frustratingly hard to find in store-bought seafood. "They're also the perfect option for last-minute dinners since you cook them from frozen—no thawing needed," he adds. "I love serving them in pita with tzatziki and pickled red onions, but they're equally delicious in a traditional burger way."

Trident Seafoods Wild Alaskan Beer Battered Cod

Courtesy of Trident Seafoods

Futia's second shout-out from the Trident Seafoods family is the brand's Wild Alaskan Beer Battered Cod. "Fish and chips are a customer favorite but not everyone has the means or time to make crispy battered fish from scratch," he says. "However, Costco offers a delicious option which is beer-battered cod. All you need to do is fry it and serve it with fries to have restaurant-style fried fish." Sounds like it might be time for a neighborhood summer fish fry. And, with Costco's 10-pound box of the cod, priced at $79.99 online, you'll have more than enough to go around.

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Ahi Tuna Steaks

Ahi Tuna Steaks
u/Kappa113 / Reddit

"Tuna steaks are a staple when you're on a diet but also need to eat something that tastes good," says Futia, who calls the steak-cut tuna available at Costco a "superb pick."

Costco's Ahi Tuna Steaks, sold in bulk for $219.99 online, are wild-caught, boneless, and come individually sealed for easy access and preparation. Or, if you want to spice it up a bit, reach for the frozen Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks, which are also boneless and skinless, and Marine Stewardship Council-certified. Both tuna options come in hefty 10- to 12-pound cases, including 26 to 36 steaks each.

This article has been updated to include new information.

Megan Hageman
Megan is a freelance writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Megan