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Prepared Horseradish Recipe

Prepared Horseradish Recipe

Makes 1 1/2 cups Servings


  • 1 pound fresh horseradish root
  • 8 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Recipe Preparation

  • Peel and coarsely grate fresh horseradish root. Combine grated horseradish, 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the horseradish begins to break down. Add 6 Tbsp. more vinegar, a tablespoonful at a time, until mixture forms a coarse paste. Transfer mixture to a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Victoria GranofReviews Section

  • 1 horseradish root, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks (see note)
  • Distilled white vinegar, for soaking
  • Kosher salt

In a food processor or blender, process horseradish to fine shreds. Add enough vinegar to cover, then season with salt. If it tastes too pungent, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the flavor is a little less harsh (though it should still be very strong and pungent). Keep refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 3 weeks.

    1. Blend all ingredients in an electric food processor to the desired consistancy. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed jar.

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    How to Make Homemade Preserved Horseradish

    I always keep a jar of store-bought preserved horseradish in my fridge. In a pinch, it's a perfectly good product, whether I'm whipping up cocktail sauce for poached shrimp or sitting down to a jar of gefilte fish for a light and lovely afternoon snack—and, as lovers of gefilte fish, we all know it's fantastic with horseradish. For the very few of you in this world who don't love gefilte fish, I'm sure you at least appreciate the power of a horseradish cream sauce on a roast beef sandwich.

    Even better than the jarred stuff, though, is homemade preserved horseradish. Simple as can be, all it requires is grating fresh horseradish, then soaking it in vinegar with a little salt.

    The first step is grabbing some fresh horseradish, which, admittedly, can be a little tough. First, because not every grocer carries it, but also (and primarily) because it's the single most suggestive vegetable you can reach out and touch in all the edible land. I'm hard to embarrass, and even I feel an awkward twinge when I pick one of these things up. Because, I mean, c'mon:

    But we're adults, and we can handle such things, right? So yeah, reach out and grab that horseradish and put it in your basket. On our way now!

    Back at home, we first need to skin it. Now here comes a big warning: Horseradish can vary wildly in pungency. Milder roots are nothing to worry about, but really fresh, strong ones can seriously mess you up. A farmer friend once gave me a horseradish root straight from her soil, and I had to flee my apartment after starting to grate it because I literally couldn't breathe. I've never been attacked with mustard gas, but I have an inkling of what it's like after that experience. There's a reason these guys wear gas masks when making preserved horseradish commercially.

    With that in mind (and windows WIDE open), start by trimming off the ends of the root with a knife.

    Then, with a sharp peeler (I like Y-peelers best), remove the rest of the exterior.

    The interior should be nice and white.

    Next, cut the root into manageable pieces, and dice it into chunks from there.

    Transfer it to a food processor or blender and, once again, be prepared for even more pungency: Chopping up the horseradish will release even more of its potent volatile chemicals, known as isothiocyanates, and may well send you running for fresh air.

    Then process or pulse, scraping down the sides, until finely ground. If you have a high-power blender, be careful not to overprocess the horseradish, or you'll end up with a pasty mush.

    The final step is to add vinegar and season with salt, but there's one little detail worth mentioning here. See, the horseradish root usually keeps its harsh isothiocyanates safely contained in its cell walls under chemical lock and key. When the cells are damaged, enzymes in the root are able to free the isothiocyanates. Think of it like a jailbreak, where the isothiocyanates are prisoners and the enzymes are an outside team tasked with freeing them. The blender or food processor (or even a metal box grater, if you want to do it manually) is like the dynamite used to blow the prison walls open. Once they're open, the more time the enzymes have to work their way through the prison and free those prisoners, the more prisoners will escape, making the air and flavor even more pungent.

    So, the longer you wait to add the vinegar, the stronger the horseradish will get. Once added, though, the vinegar puts a stop to the process. That said, it really all depends on the horseradish itself—the one I was using in the photos here was mild enough that letting some of it sit for several minutes before I added the vinegar didn't change a thing. I used distilled white vinegar here.

    Add salt to taste, and cut with a tablespoon or two of water if it's too strong. Mine here didn't need it, but sometimes it can help.

    Then just seal it up in an airtight container and keep it chilled. It'll keep at least a few weeks, if not longer, in the refrigerator.

    Try this stuff in your cocktail sauce or horseradish cream, or (most likely) on your gefilte fish, and that jar from the supermarket may end up forgotten at the back of the fridge.

    Prepared Horseradish Recipe - Recipes

    Among the memories of growing up in Russia, I can recall as a young boy watching my grandfather every fall stock up on foods like pickles and sauerkraut for the winter. Sitting on the balcony of our small apartment, he grated away for hours preparing horseradish. I often wondered why he performed this task alone and outside. Now that I prepare it myself, I understand why.

    When the root is really fresh, it will almost make you cry just looking at it. As you grate it, it will make everyone present in the room cry as well. I guess my grandfather preferred to suffer in solitude. I also think the brisk air of a crisp fall morning helped dispense with the crying gasses quicker.

    My grandfather passed away before I was ever interested in cooking and his recipe was never passed on. Only the memory of its taste remains.

    The following is a very close approximation of this snapshot into my past.

    I use a microplane to grate the horseradish. Position the root at a 45-degree angle. Give it a quarter turn every minute or so. The tip of the root begins to look like a sharpened pencil. I use this technique because the root is very fibrous at the center. If I grate at a 90-degree angle, it takes me twice as long to get through the fiber.

    The potency of prepared horseradish seems to depend on two things: freshness of the root, and how soon it is prepared after grating.

    The most potent results happen when the vinegar salt and sugar are mixed in immediately after grating. A milder taste occurs when you wait longer, about 15 minutes before adding vinegar, salt and sugar.

    I always grate the root by hand. The powerful motion of the food processor's blade bruises the root too much, causes it to oxidize and turn gray. Furthermore, heat and friction from the machine warm the root, make it bitter and rob it of its flavors.

    6 ounce piece of fresh horseradish root peeled, washed and trimmed

    1-1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, or rice vinegar

    2 tablespoons kosher salt

    3 tablespoons granulated sugar

    Grate the horseradish over a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the vinegar, salt and sugar.

    Place the prepared horseradish in a storage container and leave it uncovered for at least 4 hours. Covering right away could make it bitter. It will keep refrigerated for about two weeks.

    Prepared Horseradish

    Horseradish adds a kick to shrimp cocktail sauce to a sandwich, spices up scrambled eggs, and is the only way we feast on prime rib and steak in our house! My dad grows it and brings me buckets full and I grind it up. Here is how I make the most basic version of prepared horseradish.

    Read below to open up the delicious possibilities of your next spice worthy recipe and, of course, your sinuses!

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Yields: ¾ cup


    • ½ cup rough chopped (about 10-inches) horseradish root, washed
    • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt


    With a vegetable peeler peel the surface skin off of the horseradish root. Rough chop into small ¼ -inch pieces.

    In a food processor fitted with a blade grind with vinegar and salt. Process until well ground.

    Be conscious that fresh ground horseradish is many times as potent as freshly chopped onions and can burn your eyes and lungs so don’t get too close and work FAST in a well-ventilated room or outside.

    Using a rubber spatula, scrape the grated horseradish into a jar. Store in the refrigerator.

    Prepared Horseradish Recipe - Recipes

    In Austria they also use cream, instead of vinegar/water for this to mild it out a bit. served often with boiled beefs :D

    Now that you made a good Horseradish recipe, how about a proper French Dip sandwich recipe? I'm jonesin for one and after searching your recipes, I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be exactly one. Hopefully I didn't just miss it along the search.

    My grandpa always wore a gas mask while making this stuff! Evidently it can make your whole house fill up with fumes, causing your eyes to water pretty bad. But it's worth it!!

    A former colleague tells of finding a large horseradish root near his home when he was a kid . in an era that well pre-dated the "food processor." His mother was thrilled, nevertheless, assigned him the task of grinding it.

    The grinder was stationary, so he couldn't move it outdoors.

    He recalls it as the most physically punishing day of his childhood. He couldn't work for more than a couple of minutes, before he had to step out for fresh air. Because of those interruptions, it took what seemed like hours to complete the task.

    Oddly, he continued to love horseradish.

    First, this recipe is the reason why every kitchen should be equipped with a snorkeling mask in a bottom drawer .
    Second, @Daniel - cream is out in most prepared commercial versions b/c it isn't kosher to use w/meat, which will cut the targeted segment by 70% in the U.S. & 100% in Israel .
    In my family we like the version w/beets, but for the Alabama style white bbq sauce you need to omit the beet.

    Looks so tasty, I just wanna eat it with a spoon! But not doing that again. My nose has been running since 2012. )

    A perfect recipe without all the crap that ruins so many jars of horseradish like mustard oil and sugar. I will try this as soon as I can find some horseradish roots. Really good, hot jarred horseradish is nearly impossible to find here.

    This would've been a perfect opportunity to showcase your beef on weck recipe.

    I think I am going to take my food processor to the deck just to be safe. Then I am going to ad a big spoon full of this stuff to some sour cream with a hand full of bacon. #awesomedip

    Omg. I just tried your Beef on Weck recipe (which was AMAZING) this past labor day weekend, and was wondering how to make Homemade Horseradish. Def gonna try this recipe. You're the BEST Chef John.

    Anyone looking for already-prepared horseradish in jars may not be looking in the correct section of their grocery stores. I actually grew up in New York City, and my mom always had prepared horseradish in the fridge, store-bought from our local supermarket. The stores stocked the horseradish jars in the cold cases of the dairy section, usually on the top shelf, along with other perishables like Limburger cheese, fresh baking yeast, etc.

    My favorite horseradish was the variety that had red beets in the mixture, which gave it a nice deep pink color and took some of the edge of the "heat" of the horseradish preparation.

    Even if you can locate this in your stores, however, it is so much more fun and rewarding to just make it yourself. Thank you John!!

    I've made my own horseradish sauce using a procedure quite like yours but I found that after a week it had lost its pungency. Is there any suggestions on how to keep it hot?

    BTW, goes great with the Method X Prime Rib.

    Several years ago I went to Whisky Flat Days in Kernville, CA (originally Whiskey Flat.) Part of the celebration was a contest which involved grinding horseradish with an old crank grinder. I am not sure whether the winner was the one who ground the most horseradish, or the one that cranked for the longest. The grinder was inside an old phone booth and the contestants were required to crank with the door closed while wearing no type of hand or eye protection.

    You have the greatest cooking site on the internet. Thank you for all of your hard work.

    Thanks for this video. I love Horseradish. I would be grateful to know what brand of peeler you use. It seems to be very awesome. Thanks in advance. R Ducat

    This is going to sound a little silly, but I'm rather *excited* to try this out! It even looks like my ridiculously overpowered Breville Sous Chef 16 food processor might actually come in handy for this one, too. So I'm off to the market to find some horseradish root!

    Can I use powdered horseradish? i´ve only found horseradish that way here .

    1. Can the horseradish root be frozen for future use (I know I can freeze it but will it still be good months later when its thawed and processed)?

    2. I have a VacMaster sealing machine, if I seal the root in a 3mil bag, how long will the root last in the refrigerator?

    Love your videos and recipes, thanks

    @Big Ol' made an excellent point--around here (Northern Virginia, near Washington DC) if you ask for "horseradish" you will almost invariably be pointed to "horseradish sauce", which as any true horseradish lover knows, is NOT at all the same thing. Most grocery stores now have the prepared horseradish in the same general section as the Vlassic pickles, if they carry it. But I can totally understand why anyone who had gone to the condiments aisle looking for it, and only found "horseradish sauce" would have thought they didn't carry it in their area. :-)

    This looks like an awesome recipe. I want to try it next time we get a day nice enough to open up the windows. Thanks for posting it!

    Can't find prepared horseradish. Wow. I couldn't find a fresh root locally and had to order from Amazon. I promptly planted it in my flower beds and am now growing the greatest horseradish on earth. The vinegar is what tames the heat in horseradish. it does not intensify it. Horseradish in sour cream is my favorite thing to put on prime rib or beef or any meat. Freshly grated root is fantastic in a Bloody Mary!

    Omg. I have Johns peeler. Threw away 196 cheapies before finding my, his, 'Rösle'. Pricy. Worth every penny.

    My Grandmother always made horseradish every fall. She used a grater and grated it then Jared it with salt and vinegar. No blender or food processor available then, they just used the small side of grater. This makes me wish for some home made prepared horseradish. Thanks

    Tips for making horseradish sauce

    According to the University of Minnesota Extension, the longer you let the horseradish sit grated before adding the vinegar, the hotter it will get, up to about 3 minutes. At that point, it will have hit maximum hotness, if that is what you are after, and you add the vinegar. [1] Herman, Marilyn. Making Horseradish. University of Minnesota Extension. 2001. Accessed March 2015 at It won’t get any hotter after 3 minutes.

    How strong it was to start with will depend on the freshness of the roots. If you purchased the roots from a grocery store, then all bets are off for how long the roots were in a cold-storage warehouse before being trucked to distributors.

    Horseradish will lose its hotness in the fridge. It will still be somewhat hot after a month, milder after two months, and quite mild after three months.

    It will also darken in storage in the refrigerator.

    A little sweetener such as stevia can help to smooth the flavour a bit of ascorbic acid (or Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector) can help alleviate the browning.

    Don’t necessarily expect to save any money by making your own, if you are buying the roots. The roots can be expensive to buy, so count yourself lucky if you break even on making your own from purchased roots versus buying prepared bottles. The taste of homemade, though, is better than store bought, as you would expect, so you will be ahead that way, and the store-bought can be very high in added sodium.

    You can freeze jars of homemade horseradish in the freezer (in straight-edged, freezer-safe jars, or plastic tubs.)

    Some people note that the Japanese successfully make dried horseradish powder (wasabi powder). The University of Minnesota’s extension service, however, says it’s not worth trying to dry or dehydrate horseradish. “Drying will not produce a successful product.” [2] Herman, Marilyn. Making Horseradish. They do not say in which regard.

    If you want a creamed horseradish sauce, stir some double-cream or sour cream into the prepared horseradish sauce when serving.

    Horseradish root before being peeled.

    Horseradish root after being peeled.

    Fermented Horseradish

    Fermentation Recipes

    If you ever want to clear your sinuses, eat a teaspoon of this stuff! My mom loved horseradish and would dip in an occasional spoon, eat it straight and roll her eyes back in pleasure. Normally horseradish is not fermented, but rather quickly mixed with vinegar to help stabilize and preserve it. I decided to ferment it as an alternative preservation process and it seems to have worked quite well. I had seen some fresh horseradish root at Corners of the Mouth, a great little cooperative grocery in Mendocino where I like to buy most of my fermentables, and picked some up. It sat in my fridge for awhile but I finally got around to fermenting it and am glad I did. Having a good blender (I used a vitamix) or food processor is imperative as you’ll need to puree this.

    While pureeing it, I had to go outside a few times as the blending process releases the inherent mustard oil which can be irritating to your eyes and sinuses (think chopping onions x 3).

    Preparation Time: 20 minutes
    Fermentation time: 3 weeks
    Yield: 3 cups


    1/2 lb. horseradish root, unpeeled but washed
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups water
    2 Tablespoons sugar

    topping brine
    extra 1/2t salt dissolved in 1/2 c water

    1. When washing the horseradish root, don’t super scrub it as it’s important to leave some of the natural bacteria which can be found on the root itself to remain as this can stoke the fermentation Cut the horseradish into 1/2″ – 3/4″ cubes
    2. Place the cubes into a good quality blender (which has a tamper) or food processor with 1 cup of the water, the sea salt and sugar.
    3. Blend until creamy smooth. You’ll need to use a tamper on your vitamix to keep it blending as the mixture will remain fairly thick. Continue to add additional water as necessary. Mine took a total of 1 1/2 cups of water but yours will vary depending on the moisture content of your horseradish root.
    4. Place the pureed mixture into a widemouth jar or small bowl. To help protect the surface from mold since it directly touches the air, mix a topping brine with 1/2t salt and 1/2c water. Once dissolved, pour gently on the horseradish mixture so that this salty liquid remains on the surface. Over time this may absorb into the surface ingredients. Don’t mix it in until fermentation process is complete.
    5. Cover with a cloth and let it sit for 3 weeks.
    6. Jar it up and place in a refrigerator.

    In my opinion, the flavor after this fermentation period is much more subtle and enjoyable.

    Serving Suggestions

    I haven’t come up with too many uses for this yet, mostly mixing it into dressings and channeling my mother now and again. You can also mix this into soy/tamari as an alternative to the more expensive wasabi when eating sushi. I find it dissolves into the soy/tamari much more easily than wasabi powder or the paste you can buy in stores. Next up on my fermented condiments calendar – fermented mustard!

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    Fermented Horseradish — 22 Comments

    Great idea! Have you tried to add it to other ferments, ones that you want to eat fresher? I made a very strong horseradish sauerkraut, fresh it was too intense, but after about six weeks in my fridge turned sublime. Reading your recipe I thought it might be a great way to get the age mellowed taste but having a younger ferment for the rest of the recipe.

    What a great idea. I never thought when I started this site that I’d get so many good ideas from those reading it. I’ll definitely play more with using horseradish in my ferments. Thanks Lauren

    Hi Ted, don’t post this one, it is just for you.

    I’m starting a fermentation biz in Santa Barbara and you’ve given the brilliant idea of fermenting horseradish and jalapeno first. I was already onto doing garlic and lemon, but was missing the heat! I’m totally focused on recipes this weekend. I printed a bunch of your recipes and want to share with you a bit of what I’ve learned.

    I play with lemongrass, lemon basil and lemon zest a lot.
    I also like apples in a few krauts, and even curtido which isn’t authentic but a nice sweetness to the heat.

    Lastly fennel bulb go into my personal ferments….sliced thin.

    I did an experiment with 12 different fresh herbs. Just one flavor with cabbage/salt.
    The losers were the oily ones. Lemon verbena, rosemary, and marjoram. Yuck.

    Sage, thyme, and lavender all had nice qualities.

    Cilantro, chives and parsley were very nice.

    Tarragon is touchy, not too much, but small amounts are very nice, too complicated to mix with much.

    Hope you liked the payback:)

    Try fermenting Habanero and other fruity hot peppers by themselves ( no spices) . The sauce is amazing.