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Is there a way to pre-grate and store horseradish in a manner which preserves and maximizes its potency without relying on vinegar? Preferred storage time is approximately a few hours, a day at most.

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1 Answer 1

Freshly grated horseradish is going to lose some of its potency within minutes, let alone a few hours. Isothiocyanate, the hot chemical in horseradish, wasabi and mustard, aerosolizes extremely rapidly, which is why your eyes water just standing over it. So you can't preserve all of its potency.

The best way to maximize potency while storing it for a day is to make sure it has as little contact with air as possible, and to refrigerate it. Vacumm-packing will do this, as well as simply finding a very small container you can fill to the top with grated horseradish and then seal. If you have access to argon or other neutral gas wine oxidation preventors, then it might be interesting to experiment with them.

If you were storing it for a longer period, I would recommend vacuum-packing and freezing, but not for just a day.

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Why couldn't you just use another liquid (water or oil)? –  Jefromi Apr 8 '12 at 21:35
    
I'm not sure, actually. I haven't tried using another liquid, and the storage advice I can find online all says exclusively vinegar. I have tried the vac-pack method on wasabi, though, successfully. –  FuzzyChef Apr 9 '12 at 4:35
    
I'll have to give this a shot. Someone (offline) explained that vinegar (or similar acid) stops an additional reaction which breaks down the isothiocyanate. He also suggested dehydration (as in wasabi powder) as a mechanism to prevent initial reaction which generates the isothiocyanate, which, when re-hydrated is finally activated. –  Eli Lansey Apr 10 '12 at 13:33

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