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How to Make Prepared Fresh Horseradish

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How to make horseradish, some really hot preserves to spice up your sandwich and clear your stuffy sinuses in seconds.

preserved homemade horseradish with vinegar


Ever thought about homemade horseradish? I didn’t, until recently.

Why? Well, buying fresh roots of horseradish around here can be a challenging task, I might have seen some a couple of times throughout the years, but really not often. And once I did actually buy a small root and paid so much for it, it really put me off from buying it again.

But then, recently, I realized my friend has a huge horseradish plant in her garden, she’s been having that for years, but somehow I had never really taken notice of it until now.

So when I needed some fresh horseradish root to put into my green tomato pickles, I asked her if she has a small piece of horseradish root for me. “A small piece?”, she asked. “I have a whole bush if you want it.”

preserved horseradish in a bowl


So she came in the evening with these large horseradish roots packed in newspapers, full of long “mustaches” and coated in dirt and told me that they are hard to get out of the ground, but I could get 20 times as much if I wanted (and if I dig for it myself… 🙂 ).

No, I did not need that much, the amount she brought me was enough to get me through the winter, I would say.

As it was quite a large horseradish root, I grated and froze most of it and only preserved a smaller amount in vinegar. Keeping the preserved fresh horseradish for long is not really an option, it will lose its hotness in the end, so I prefer to make small amounts and use the frozen horseradish for a fresh batch.

I always have a small jar of store-bought horseradish, often the creamed variety, in my fridge, I use it mostly when making beetroot salad or on sandwiches, and I am particularly thinking of smoked trout or leftover cold meat sandwiches.

I love that pungent, fiery flavor, horseradish sauce takes any regular sandwich or salad dressing to a whole new level.

horseradish root for homemade horseradish


It couldn’t be easier!

  • Wash the horseradish root thoroughly.
  • Peel it well removing all the brown spots.
  • Quickly rinse the peeled horseradish again to remove any lingering dirt. Dry well.
  • Grate the horseradish, add some salt and vinegar and stuff into small jars.
  • Seal the jars well.

How do you grind horseradish?

  • Do make sure that you open a door or a window when working with horseradish. Or you could work outside if possible. Grating it will definitely clear your sinuses, but not only, but it will also make you cry.
  • That is the main reason I actually prefer to process the horseradish root in the food processor, my Vorwerk Thermomix TM5, it takes seconds and it is better for my eyes.
  • Otherwise use a box grater, the side with the small shredding holes.

How long does fresh horseradish last?

  • Vinegar stops the action of the enzymes contained by horseradish, so the moment you add the vinegar is pretty important. If you add the vinegar immediately after grating the horseradish, the final product will be milder. If you wait for a few minutes before adding the vinegar, the preserved horseradish will be stronger.
  • Make sure that the jars containing the horseradish are very well-sealed. I remember my grandmother saying that horseradish loses its power over time and that it is important to seal the jars very well.
  • She would use cellophane for that, I prefer twist-off jars, but I have found out that adding a tight layer of sticking plaster around the lid helps as well.
  • I prefer to make small amounts of the preserved horseradish, it does lose its sharpness when kept for long.
  • You should consume the fresh horseradish within 2 or 3 weeks as it will definitely lose its power after that.
  • Keep the jars sealed in the fridge.
  • After opening one jar, keep it in the fridge and consume as fast as possible, it will start losing its fierceness once opened, so it should not be kept long after opening it.
how to make horseradish


For sandwiches:
  • With smoked trout or smoked salmon, cucumber slices and dill.
  • Beetroot and feta with parsley or dill.
  • Cold meats, leftover roast.
For sauces:
  • Mix some in white sauce and serve with fish, roast meat or poached vegetables.
  • Filling for Beetroot Pancakes.
  • Dressing for beetroot salad: onions, horseradish, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and herbs.
  • Regular dressing for a salad: add ½ -1 teaspoon to your regular dressing.
Horseradish sauce:
  • Creamed horseradish: mix together 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to taste.  Enjoy with fish, roast, shrimps or vegetables.
  • Cocktail sauce: mix prepared horseradish to taste into ketchup


fresh horseradish in jars
fresh homemade horseradish

How to Make Prepared Fresh Horseradish

How to make preserved fresh horseradish, something to spice up your sandwich and clear your stuffy sinuses in seconds.
4.55 from 11 votes
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Course: Preserves and Canning Recipes
Cuisine: Romanian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 small jars
Calories: 62kcal
Author: Adina



  • 200 g/ 7 oz fresh horseradish
  • ca 100-150 ml/ 3.4-5 fl.oz/ ½ – 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  • Wash the horseradish roots very thoroughly and peel them using a vegetable peeler and removing all the brown spots.
  • Quickly rinse the peeled horseradish again to remove any lingering dirt. Dry well.
  • Either grate it by hand (small shredder side of a box grater) in a well-ventilated room or cut it into chunks and process it for a few seconds in the food processor.
  • Mix it with salt and vinegar. Don't add too much vinegar, the mixture should be wet but not sopping wet. If you add the vinegar immediately after grating the horseradish, the final product will be milder. If you wait for a few minutes before adding the vinegar, the preserved horseradish will be stronger.
  • Stuff the horseradish into small jars, pushing it down with a small wooden rolling pin or something similar. If the mixture seems to be too dry on top, pour a few more drops of vinegar in the jars.
  • Screw the lids of the jars on top and seal them with some sticking plaster for good measure. Keep refrigerated.


Serving: 1small jar | Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1215mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g
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Recipe Rating


Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Hello! Do you grate the horseradish then freeze it? Or do I freeze it whole? I assume that it’s grated and then when I go to make my next batch I just pull the frozen grated horseradish out and use it in the same recipe?


Sunday 3rd of October 2021

Hi Rachel. Grated is easier. If you freeze it whole, it will be kind of soft when defrosted and you will have a hard time grating it.

Renate Oftedahl

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

very good and informative. I love Horseradish


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Thank you, Renate.


Thursday 31st of August 2017

Thank you for all the tips, especially the timing of vinegar's addition is precious: this is probably why my two attempts of preserving horseradish always gave mild results... I looooove horseradish and here also I find it very rarely raw (usually in the autumn), as for the jars they are just too creamy and mild here... (luckily I sometimes find Polish horseradish jars in a multi-ethnic shop!). I also prefer the fresh one grated, so thank you for the grating and freezing tip! I do grate and freeze wasabi when I come back from Japan but never thought of horseradish...


Tuesday 22nd of August 2017

What a great post, Adina!! I have always been curious on how to make homemade horseradish and your post answered all my questions. ;-) I never liked it when I first came to Germany, but it's one of those things that grew on me. I love smearing it over Leberwurst ... I love the kick you get from it. I usually buy the creamy, mild one from Lidl. Try horseradish in mashed potatoes. It really is yummy. My husband loves it whenever I make but my kids won't touch it (of course). :-) Thanks for sharing! Love your photos!! Have a great day!!