ArabianCuisineDips and SaucesVegan

Lebanese Garlic Sauce in Just 5 Steps – Toum

15 mins Cook
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This Garlic Sauce (Toum) is a famous condiment in Lebanese restaurants served often with chicken; made with only 4 ingredients: garlic, oil, lemon and salt.

Toum is a Lebanese garlic sauce that’s truly more like a selection due to its thickness. It’s first rate popular to spread it over Shish Tawook, grilled chicken, shawarma, Koobideh kebab and plenty of different middle eastern dishes. It’s basically a slow and regular emulsion manner of garlic and oil and it’s thoroughly heavenly!

I used to suppose the proper manner to make toum worried mayonnaise or egg whites. To me, it seemed like one of these excessive-calorie sauce to be making at domestic and i stored it for eating out only. but then i found Maureen Abood‘s recipe for Lebanese garlic sauce, and it uses four ingredients: garlic, oil, lemon juice and salt. i used to be offered! It’s taste-packed, vegan and clean-to-make!

What is Garlic Sauce Made of?

  • Garlic: The maximum crucial a part of the recipe is the garlic. discover the freshest garlic bulbs you could discover. check them for firmness to ensure that they have the best consistency and taste. you’ll want 1 cup of peeled garlic. you can freeze the final garlic.
  • Oil: you may use canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or some other neutral oil you prefer. I do not advocate the use of olive oil as it will change the colour of the garlic sauce and lend a stronger flavor than than the neutral oil. You want the garlic taste to stand out greater than the oil taste. You’ll want 3-4 cups of oil.
  • Lemon juice: The lemon plays a assisting function inside the Lebanese garlic sauce, and allows to mix and emulsify so the oil doesn’t overpower the garlic. i use ½ a cup however you may decrease according to your taste preference. The lemon juice acts as a binder, so don’t go away it out.
  • Salt: The salt helps to finely grate the garlic via adding traction to garlic’s herbal wetness inside the beginning of the processing. Plus, it enables to flavor the sauce.

How to Make Garlic Sauce

Peel one cup of garlic cloves, which must be about 4 garlic bulbs. you could additionally purchase pre-peeled garlic, but ensure it’s very clean. I on occasion ask my neighborhood supermarket to peel it for me with their business machine, so I are aware of it’s freshly peeled.

Even as our ancestors made garlic sauce by the use of a mortar and pestle and whisking patiently, that may be a arduous manner. I particularly propose using a food processor for the fastest manner to make a mild and ethereal texture. region the peeled garlic and the kosher salt inside the food processor and blend until it’s well minced, scraping down the edges as necessary.

In order to emulsify, just like making pesto, it’s important to run the oil very slowly in a thin stream and small batches at a timeWhen you first introduce the oil, start with only one tablespoon of oil. This gives the oil ample time to blend well into the salted garlic. You can’t really rush the process.

Make sure to scrape down the sides so that all the minced salted garlic gets well incorporated into the oil. After scraping down the sides, you can slowly add another tablespoon of oil. This initial introduction of the oil to the garlic is the most important step of making homemade toum.

You want it to look creamy and emulsified, like the image on the left, before you can speed up the process. Once it becomes airy and fluffy, it’s your cue to continue making the garlic sauce by alternating between pouring in the oil and pouring in the lemon juice. After about 15 minutes, it will look like the image on the right.

To let the garlic set, I cover it with a paper towel and store in the fridge, and let the flavors set in overnight before enjoying it. The paper towel allows some of the moisture to wick away while setting in the flavors. You can remove the paper towel after 24 hours and just cover it with a tight-fitting lid.

The end result is a light, airy, totally garlickly and beautifully creamy Lebanese garlic sauce. Its smooth texture and aromatic taste makes it so addictive to enjoy in so many ways!

Tips for Making Homemade Garlic Sauce

Remove the inexperienced sprout from inside the garlic. This step isn’t necessary, but by way of doing so, it ensures which you eliminate the oldest a part of the garlic to be left with the hottest whitest a part of the garlic. The bring about a less bitter sauce, so it’s worth the step if you have time.
Soak the garlic in ice water for a couple of minutes for a much less potent taste. a few readers have mentioned that the taste of the garlic became really strong. One way to lessen that efficiency is with the aid of soaking the garlic with ice water. make certain to dry them very well though afterwards in case you do that.
Make sure to change the lemon juice with the oil. I’ve had the garlic sauce fail on me a pair times when I attempted leaving the lemon juice till the give up, however the oil turns into too heavy to support the garlic that way. The lemon juice enables hold the consistency mild, so I recommend alternating it as soon as the aggregate is first of all emulsified.
Don’t use a blender. It’s simply difficult to get the aggregate to emulsify in a popular blender or immersion blender. A blender additionally doesn’t permit the benefit of slowly drizzling within the oil even as the motor is going for walks over a big floor vicinity. I do not advocate a blender.

What to Eat With Garlic Sauce

The opportunities of the way to serve toum are infinite. I in most cases experience it with grilled meat and bird. but it works absolutely properly with grilled fish, in sandwiches, in pasta. It also works as a dip with pita bread and crackers. Or you could use it as a base for a garlickly salad dressing. right here are a few high-quality recipes that paintings with the garlic sauce.

  1. Shish Tawook (Chicken Skewers)
  2. Iraqi Grilled Chicken Quarters
  3. Lebanese Kibbeh Balls
  4. Avocado Pasta Salad
  5. Pakoras

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does toum last?
If you keep it in an airtight container, this garlic sauce will last 3-4 months in the fridge! After that time, the strength of the garlic will start to fade.

What type of oil is best to use?
You want to use a neutral oil like canola, vegetable, grapeseed or safflower oil. Olive oil will make it more dense and the color won’t be as bright and white.

What if the mixture breaks and becomes liquidy?
It has happened to me a couple of times when I left the lemon juice at the end or when I added the oil too quickly. So it’s important to alternate the oil and lemon juice and don’t rush the process. If the mixture didn’t get fluffy and looks more liquid, it’s possibly that it didn’t emulsify.
I would recommend adding 1-2 boiled potatoes to the food processor and allowing the potato to help emulsify it. In that case though, be sure to only store the garlic sauce no more than 7-10 days.

How do I make the taste of the garlic more mellow?
Before making the garlic sauce, you can soak the garlic for 30 minutes in ice water. After making the garlic sauce, you can whisk in some lemon juice to mellow down the flavor. I find it mellows down with time though.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce in Just 5 Steps - Toum

Lebanese Garlic Sauce in Just 5 Steps - Toum

This Garlic Sauce (Toum) is a famous condiment in Lebanese restaurants served often with chicken; made with only 4 ingredients: garlic, oil, lemon and salt.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
15 mins
total time
30 mins



  • 1 cup garlic cloves peeled

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  • 3 cups neutral oil such as canola or safflower

  • ½ cup lemon juice


Slice the garlic cloves in half of lengthwise and do away with any green sprouts.
Transfer the sliced garlic cloves into a meals processor and upload the kosher salt to the garlic cloves. process for a minute till the garlic turns into finely minced. ensure to scrape down the edges of the meals processor afterwards.
Even as the food processor is walking, slowly pour one to two tablespoons of oil, then prevent and scrape down the bowl. keep including every other tablespoon or till the garlic starts offevolved looking creamy.
As soon as the garlic appears emulsified by using the few tablespoons of oil, growth the velocity of pouring the oil and trade with the ½ cup of lemon juice until all the oil and lemon juice is included. this will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Switch the sauce into a tumbler box and cowl with a paper towel within the fridge in a single day. Makes about four cups.
The next day, replace the paper towel with an airtight lid and maintain inside the fridge for up to 3 months.


Recipe: This recipe was adapted from Maureen Abood Storage: Store the Lebanese Garlic Sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months. Over time, the flavor of the garlic will become more subtle but it will stay fresh and tasty. Process Tip: One quick way to peel a lot of garlic is to place them in a large empty jar and shake it vigorously. It helps to release most of the cloves from the peel. Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is and do not substitute anything. Equipment: I used the Cuisinart Elite Food Processor (affiliate link) to make the garlic sauce. It emulsifies as it breaks down the garlic and creates the light and airy texture. Best part it can be on for over 20 minutes without heating up and shutting off.
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