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 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 T 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
  2. horseradish-2Cut the horseradish into 1/2″ – 3/4″ cubes
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Place the pureed mixture into a widemouth jar or small bowl.
  6. horseradish-3To 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.
  7. Cover with a cloth and let it sit for 3 weeks.
  8. Jar it up and place in a refrigerator.

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

horseradish-4I 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!


Developer / Chef at Fermentation Recipes
Ted Seymour is a passionate writer, blogger, photographer, traveler and avid fermenter who lives on the coast of Northern California. His kombucha colony is a great great great great great great great grandmother many times over.

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Fermented Horseradish — 7 Comments

  1. 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:)

  2. Hi Ted,

    You wrote you hadn’t found too many ways to use this condiment, so I thought I share the traditional one in the area where I live.

    There are a few traditional ‘Sunday’ or ‘festive’ soups around here which are special only in that there are huge chunks of meats in it (with or without bones). It can be a whole chicken or the tail of a cow, etc. but they are never suitable to eat with the spoon you eat the soup with. So first we eat the veggies with the liquid and some (usually angel-hair) pasta, then we eat the meat chunks with our hands. At this point we use the horseradish creme as a condiment for the cooked meat.

    Give it a try if you eat meat and let me know what you think.

    Happy fermenting :o)

  3. Hello all the way from Brazil Ted!! :0P

    thank you so much for such a brilliant post!

    As a starter, could I use the Sauerkraut juice instead?

    Keep up the good work!

    All the best,


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