Toum is the definitive garlic sauce, perfect for serving the same way you would mayonnaise: with grilled chicken, Lebanese-style, or simply as a condiment for sandwiches, meats and salads. It's like a mayonnaise, except this recipe uses garlic instead of eggs! 

4 cups



Skill level

Average: 2.1 (204 votes)


Version 1 (Frances Zaidan's recipe)

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 750ml-1 litre (3-4 cups) olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Version 2 (using vegetable oil)

  • 1 whole garlic bulb, broken into cloves and peeled
  • ½ tsp citric acid, dissolved in 125 ml (½ cup) water
  • 1 litre (4 cups) of vegetable oil, approximately
  • good pinch of salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Frances Zaidan's recipe
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic and a little salt. Easier still, you can use a blender. Still beating or with motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil (you don't want to 'break' the sauce). 

Keep drizzling until you have a fine, white fluffy garlic mayonnaise. When you think it's fine and white and fluffy enough (this will take a while, 10 minutes or so at least, more if you're pounding), add lemon juice, but keep beating. Add salt and add extra lemon juice to taste.

Using vegetable oil
In a blender, pulverise the garlic, scraping down the sides every now and then, until it is finely minced. Keeping the blender going, begin adding the oil, using a container with a fine spout (one of those oil and vinegar cruets with a fine pouring spout is ideal). Keep adding the oil very gradually until you have used about 2 cups.

Keeping the blender running, slowly add 3 tsp of the water in which you have dissolved the citric acid. Continue to blend and add the rest of the oil, as gradually as before.

When it is nearly all added, blend in the remaining citric acid solution, followed by the rest of the oil and season to taste with salt.