Kitchn Love Letters

I Live Alone and Still Buy Costco’s Fresh Salmon in Bulk

published Nov 5, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Heather McClees

Of all the fish in the sea, I eat salmon the most. It’s one of those versatile proteins that I can jazz up in so many ways, whether just searing a piece off medium-rare and drizzling it with teriyaki sauce, stuffing into air-fried spring rolls, or Emily Mariko-ing leftovers into a spicy salmon rice bowl with seaweed snacks for mini hand rolls.

In order to save money on my maritime meals, I buy salmon in bulk at Costco, where I can get nearly an entire side of fresh, farm-raised Atlantic salmon for $12.99 a pound (on average, about 2.5 to 3 pounds per package).

Credit: Alyse Whitney

What’s So Great About Fresh Farm-Raised Atlantic Salmon?

Costco salmon is skinless and boneless — pin-bone free, so no tweezers needed! I do like salmon skin when I’m searing it to eat solo, but many times I don’t need the skin for the preparations I’m planning, so I’m willing to sacrifice it for the speed and even cooking time.

The salmon comes in one large piece — approximately 10 to 12 inches long by 6 inches wide and 1.5 inches tall at its thickest — so you can cook it like a large roast for slow-roasted salmon or portion it into individual fillets, as small or large as you want, for a few different meals.

Even though I’m a single person, I can justify buying salmon in bulk because it freezes so well. For easy math, a 3-pound piece of salmon at Costco costs $38.97 at $12.99 per pound. If you cut it into 6-ounce filets, you’ll get eight portions, which breaks down to $4.87 per fillet, a steal compared to grabbing a single fillet at a grocery store or fishmonger.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

What Should You Make with Fresh Farm-Raised Atlantic Salmon?

I have been buying Costco salmon in bulk for almost a decade, starting when I lived in New York City post-college and used it for decadent meal prep. Today, I’m in my 30s and living in Los Angeles and use it more for dinner-party meals and quick dinners.

I prefer to portion the fish into 6-ounce pieces, weighing them with a kitchen scale or eyeballing about 2-inch-wide fillets. I wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn, and then put them in a resealable freezer bag labeled with the date and how many pieces are inside. Then I can just thaw overnight for salmon anytime in the next few months, or even cook directly from frozen in the air fryer.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

One of my favorite ways to make salmon is to season it with olive oil and any spices that strike my fancy — I’ve been using Jacobsen Salt x Fly by Jing’s Tingly Sichuan Salt, Spicewalla’s Garlic & Herb, or good ol’ Old Bay — then air-fry it at 400°F for 5 to 7 minutes if fresh, and 9 to 12 minutes if frozen. I pair it with quick-cooking vegetables that can take a good char in a hot oven, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or green beans. (Alternatively, you can roast both the fish and veggies in the oven.) The fish and veggies are a blank canvas for sauces, like store-bought teriyaki (I love Bachan’s), a quick honey mustard sauce, store-bought or homemade pesto, or chimichurri

I’ll usually cook at least two portions so I can flake a leftover fillet into pieces and mix with Kewpie mayonnaise, Sriracha, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, scallions, and sesame seeds for a rice bowl or mini hand rolls à la Emily Mariko, as mentioned above.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

I have also rolled that salmon mixture with nori into rice paper wrappers and air-fried them at 400°F for 5 to 7 minutes, or until crispy. Dipped into peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce, they’re some of the best appetizers-for-dinner I’ve ever made. Flaked salmon is also great in salads or chili-lime tacos, whether served hot or as leftovers. (Check out all of The Kitchn’s salmon recipes here for more inspiration.)

Find it in stores: Farm-Raised Fresh Atlantic Salmon, $12.99 per pound at Costco

Let us know about any other seafood staples you buy from Costco in the comments.