Prepared or Lacto-Fermented Horseradish

Horseradish root sections

Horseradish root sections

by Cat, Nov 2013 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: Yogurt Cream Cheese & Liquid Whey (for Lacto-Fermentation)

This article presents two versions: 1. the more modern preparation in a vinegar brine, and 2. the old-fashioned lacto-fermented version that I highly recommend.

My Dad loved horseradish, and raised it in his garden. Like red radishes, it is a member of the cabbage family, but its root is quite hot. Mom had learned how to preserve horseradish (lacto-ferment it) at the Children’s Home where she was raised, so we always had enough to last through the year. It was kept in the refrigerated cupboard at our bar, to be used in several mixed drinks, or served with homemade sausages brought in by our customers. I loved the stuff.

Preserving the horseradish takes a bit of stamina, as working with this pungent, hot root can really cause a lot of pain for your eyes (far worse than onions). But it’s worth it, and the end product is way more healthful than the commercial stuff that is made with dubious or known-to-be-harmful ingredients, such as HFCS and preservatives. And it’s way more tasty, too.

Prepared Horseradish in Vinegar Brine

This recipe is from Bon Appetite (1)

Peel and coarsely grate the horseradish root. Note: your eyes will burn and tear-up; the horseradish will keep just fine while you take a break when needed.

Combine with 2 Tbsp. of the white wine vinegar in a blender or food processor. Add salt to taste; pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the horseradish begins to break down. Add remaining vinegar one tablespoonful at a time, until mixture forms a coarse paste. Transfer mixture to a jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Lacto-Fermented Horseradish (the original prepared horseradish)

This recipe is from Nourished Kitchen blog (2) and Learning and Yearning blog (3).


  • horseradish root (you will not likely need the entire root)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid from another lacto-fermentation product (or 1 packet starter culture for fresh vegetables (such as Body Ecology brand)
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp filtered water (as needed)


  1. Peel and chop enough of the horseradish to fill 1 cup. NOTE: your eyes will tear up.
  2. Combine horseradish with salt and whey in blender or food processor.
  3. Pulse for about one minute to combine ingredients.
  4. Add two to four tablespoons filtered water to the ingredients and process for three to four minutes until a smooth paste forms, adding additional water as necessary.
  5. At this point, you will want to take a break, to give your eyes a chance to recover.
  6. Spoon the homemade horseradish mixture into a small jar, adding additional water to completely reach the top of the jar. Cover it loosely with a lid.
  7. Allow to ferment in a warm location in your kitchen for at least three days and up to a week, before removing to cold storage. The homemade horseradish will keep in your fridge for several months.

Assembly or Serving ideas

  • To serve, arrange potatoes and beets on 2 large plates. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and drizzle with some of the dressing. Pile fennel/parsley on top,, and serve with remaining dressing on the side.
  • Fine Cooking (1) suggests serving this salad on top of leftover slices of braised brisket


  1. Bon Appetite recipe:
  2. Nourished Kitchen blog recipe:
  3. Learning and Yearning blog recipe:

About Cat

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