The world’s oceans contain all kinds of rare and tasty seafood delicacies – and, when something’s both rare and delicious, it also tends to be expensive. If you’re curious about luxurious seafood meals (and you like to eat expensive food!), you may be wondering what the most expensive fish you can eat is. The answer is something you’ll never guess!
Without further ado, here are the most expensive fish to eat in the world (stick around until the end of the article for the most expensive fish you can eat!).
From $20 to $200 depending on dish.
Fugu, one of the most expensive fishes to eat, is the exotic sort of fish you’d expect to be incredibly expensive. It’s also surprisingly deadly.
Fugu is a kind of puffer fish, which is one of the types that blow up like a balloon when they’re threatened. They’re also very poisonous. A chef has to be specially trained in fugu preparation to create a non-toxic fugu dish. These trained chefs are so rare that only a few dozen restaurants in the country can serve the non-toxic fugu dish.
Fugu can cost up to $200 a pound. You can find this puffer fish for as low as $12 a pound at discount sushi restaurants, but this is one of those dishes where you should go for the most expensive versions. After all, you don’t want to risk your life on cheap, quickly-prepared fugu from a discount chef.
The taste of the fugu is genuinely unique. Fans of the puffer fish have difficulty finding anything to compare. Still, they all agree that it is a truly unforgettable taste. That and the danger inherent to the fugu dining experience make the fish much sought after by truly adventurous diners.
From $19 to $69 a pound.
If you’re looking for an expensive fish dish that’s not sushi, you should look into swordfish. It’s not flaky like most fish. Instead, it’s a solid, meaty fish frequently prepared as steak or kabobs.
On average, this beautiful fish runs from $30 to $40 per pound, though the price can be slightly higher. The reason it’s so expensive is that swordfish is very difficult to catch. Landing a swordfish can be a real battle.
Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)
From $8 to $30 a pound.
Yellowfin tuna, also known as ahi, is not as sought after as the bluefin variety. The taste isn’t as rich, but it’s still far more interesting than the more common albacore tuna, so it is still sought after for sushi and other fish dishes. It is frequently paired with high-end mushrooms.
This tuna fish tends to go for around $30 per pound, but it can be much more expensive, especially in northern locations. Although there is a high demand for yellowfin tuna, it isn’t as overfished as bluefin tuna.
From $28 to $38 a pound.
Chinook salmon is the fattiest kind of salmon there is. It is therefore also the tastiest kind of salmon, making this fish prized by seafood restaurants everywhere. Some fish lovers describe Chinook’s rich, slightly sweet taste as “decadent.”
Chinook salmon, also known as wild king salmon, are notoriously difficult to catch, so supplies quickly run out after every salmon season. This combination of low supply and high demand is why Chinook salmon costs more than $20 a pound.
From $100 to $200 a pound (and even $3000 once!)
The glass eel, sometimes known as the bay eel, is probably the second most expensive fish you can eat. The high price is not because of the taste, which has been described as “bland” and is sometimes compared to catfish and chicken.
The hefty price tag is due entirely to scarcity. This small fish is found only along the northeastern coast of North America and has been heavily overfished. Due to the eel’s rarity, it frequently goes from $100 to $200 a pound. It can be higher in times of particular scarcity, rising to $3,000 a pound on one occasion.
Eating glass eel is a status symbol, not a culinary delight. Its popularity seems to come from showing how much money people are willing to shell out for mediocre quality fish. High-end sushi platters often have at least one glass eel dish.
The Most Expensive Fish to Eat – The Bluefin Tuna
From $20 to $40 (once sold for $5000!) a pound
You might think that the world’s most expensive fish would be something you’ve never heard of before, caught only in some obscure corner of the globe. However, you’d be thinking wrong. It’s the same fish you can find in cans in your local grocery store.
OK, so it’s not exactly the same as the kind of tuna you get in a can. There are many different kinds of tuna. Bluefin tuna is prized in various raw fish or sushi dishes and can sell for a great deal of money in Japan. In fact, in 2019, a 600-pound specimen sold for an astonishing $3 million, or about $5,000 per pound. More typically, though, it goes for about $200 a pound in Japan and between $20 and $40 per pound in America.
Part of the reason for the expense is the taste. It has a distinctive flavor, and many people consider it to be the very tastiest kind of tuna there is. Its popularity led to overfishing by commercial fishing fleets. It’s also a popular game fish and is highly sought after by fishermen worldwide, becoming a rare fish to find. The rarity of this larger fish is the other reason for the expense. Given the high rate of overfishing, it’s likely that bluefin prices are only going to keep rising in the future.
Bluefin tuna is so rare that some marine biologists worry about it eventually going extinct and has previously been classified as an endangered species. For that reason, several high-end aquariums in various parts of the world keep bluefin tuna as a safeguard against overfishing in the wild.
So if you’re looking for the most expensive, most luxurious seafood dish in the world, head to Japan and order some bluefin sushi from chefs who know how to do it right. If you want to taste bluefin without going so far or paying so much, try a grilled bluefin steak at an American seafood restaurant.
If you’re hungry for the most expensive dining experiences, you must try the fish we’ve listed here (particularly the blue fish tuna!). These fish are not found in your run-of-the-mill seafood restaurants and will not be available among regular fish in your typical supermarket fish section. Bon appétit to a truly decadent and expensive seafood meal!