Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

Have ever bought one of those pre-peeled tubs of garlic cloves. Where you think you’ll have no problem using it up because “you LOVE garlic!”, yet you don’t own a restaurant and aren’t in the habit of eating 10 cloves a day? Well, I’ve done it too. And instead of wasting it and letting half the bucket go rotten, make toum! When we first had it, at a Lebanese restaurant, I thought it was some kind of funky hummus and Hubby thought it was sour cream (to go with the kebabs we had). Quickly proven wrong, it was a wonderful discovery that I knew I had to make.

Its the Lebanese version of horseradish and could easily be used as a garlic’y horseradish replacement. In fact, I plan on having it with roast beef and gravy tomorrow. A fluffy garlic paste that hits you right in the keester with its powerful taste. And it tastes good on just about anything. Tonight it went with my lamb ossobuco and I put it on the yu choy that was simply cooked in brown butter.

Just a note that you want to alternate the oil and lemon juice to make everything emulsify, get fluffy, and combine into a perfect paste. And according to the recipes I read, do NOT use olive oil.

And yes, it really is as white as it looks in the picture!




  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves - peeled roughly 3 heads of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups canola oil or vegetable not olive!
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup lemon juice at least 1/8th, more for personal taste


  • Whiz the garlic cloves in a medium sized food processor. Pulse for about 10 seconds at a time until almost paste like.
  • Start off with a hearty splash of oil and the salt, and begin the whizzing.
  • Slowly drizzle in the oil, alternating with a portion of the lemon juice every 1/4 cup of oil drizzled in. Don't skip this step!
  • End result will be a fluffy, texture, reminiscent of super whipped mashed potatoes.


Store in airtight container, in the fridge, for up to a month.
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    1. In the recipes that I found, they all say to use a neutral tasting oil and that heavier oils will prevent the oil coming together. I have seen recipes with grapeseed oil, though. If you try it and it comes out wonderfully, I’d love to know!

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