Fast and Easy Toum – The Best Lebanese Garlic Sauce Recipe

What you are about to read is a breakthrough in the toum making process. I have unlocked the secret to easy, fast and perfect toum. Since I’ve decided to share this invention, I have a feeling the world will owe me something good in return, apart from immortalising me in the memory of future generations. If you don’t know what toum is, you haven’t lived, but it’s not too late. Read my first toum recipe for background information about this amazing dip and then head to the first Lebanese charcoal chicken place you can find.

Now, you may have heard me make this claim before: the best toum (Lebanese garlic sauce) ever. And I still stand by it. But hear me out. My first toum recipe is undeniably a success story, having made possible what most of you thought was impossible: home-made Lebanese garlic sauce as good as any restaurant’s toum, made by a fail-safe recipe that needed only oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. But I needed an alternative, and after months of pondering, I have actually found the answer.

Why a second toum recipe?

But, why do we need a second toum recipe, you ask. Well. Good question. There are three issues that I have with my first recipe:

  1. It takes so bloody long. Ten minutes of whizzing and adding thin streams of oil interchanged with lemon juice took so much discipline and concentration. It was all a bit too hard
  2. A good food processor costs an arm and a leg (and the occasional finger), and many of my readers don’t have one
  3. It produced such large volumes of toum that unless you had your 25 cousins come around for a bbq, you’d need to be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 weeks straight to get through it all

What does the new approach give us?

So, with my new recipe, here are the technological advances I have been able to achieve:

  1. I have been able to reduce the necessary amount of oil required to make toum to 1 cup instead of 4 cups
  2. By using a blender (which is usually more readily available at homes) a food processor is no longer necessary
  3. Toum preparation time has been reduced to a maximum of 3 minutes, and the process happens without continuously worrying about using thin streams of oil as it can handle a much more heavy handed approach

That’s all good and well, but how does the magic work?

Well, inspiration came late last night, when I saw someone making mayonnaise using a food processor. I had thought that by now, people should know that a blender is a much easier option for mayonnaise (see here). I have been able to make mayonnaise in 1 minute flat. The blades actually create a sort of suction that uses gravity to its advantage and makes the emulsification process much more simple. I decided to use a blender, and an egg white (which is used by almost all Lebanese restaurants) to bind the oil to the garlic and lemon juice. The result is amazing, creamy, light, easy, and fail-safe Lebanese garlic sauce. Let the world know and share the love!

Fast and Easy Toum Recipe (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg white
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of iced water of which you will use around 2 tbsp
  • 1 cup of neutral oil, canola or vegetable oil (Edit: Since this recipe was published, I’ve come to understand that seed and commercial vegetable oils are highly inflammatory and largely contribute to heart disease and diabetes. I suggest using oils low in Omega 6 and high in monounsaturated fats. As neutral oils go, a high oleic sunflower such as this one would be a good option.)

Method

  1. Put the garlic cloves along with salt and 1/4 of the lemon juice in the blender
  2. Blend on medium and scrape the sides down when the garlic goes flying everywhere
  3. Add the egg white and blend on medium
  4. Add half the oil in bit by bit. A thin stream is not necessary, but don’t go crazy. A reasonable, fine, steady pour is good
  5. At this stage, the emulsification should have taken place. If it hasn’t and the sauce looks like it has split, then something has gone wrong. You may need to remove half the amount, add another egg white, whizz away and re-pour what had already split. But if you take it slow without pouring the oil too quickly, it should be fine
  6. Switch to a slow blend, and add the rest of the lemon juice in slowly too
  7. Add the rest of the oil in the same fashion
  8. Add 1 or 2 tbsp of water. You will see the consistency change into something wonderfully creamy and light. Water seems to do wonders for the texture, I’m not sure why
  9. Taste it, praise the Lord, and write back and tell me how amazing I am

138 Responses to “Fast and Easy Toum – The Best Lebanese Garlic Sauce Recipe”

  1. JasmyneTea says:

    I had to try three times before I got it right – do you think it matters if the egg white is at room temperature? That was the only difference with the last, successful batch.

  2. leon says:

    I just made it and it was awesome!!!
    thank you so much. i used to make it like my tata with the timber bowl and hammer but it always came out too hot and drinking lemonade to check the tongue burning sensation was the only measure of hotness. this is soft and fluffy and YUMMY !! Thanks.

  3. I’m sorry Fouad, but I’ve done it, and it didn’t even take any experimentation – just one straightforward attempt: an even easier and quicker way to make toum! Two minutes, tops. Check it out.

    http://yumbomcgillicutty.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/turning-and-two-minute-toum.html

  4. Aussie in Japan says:

    Vibey, i am going to buy a stick blender just so i can try your version – the smaller amount of lemon sounds like it might turn out exactly how i want it! Does it need to be fresh lemon juice or will a bottle of ‘real lemon’ or whatever work too?

  5. Lazy lemon will do, Aussie. As it so happens, I was also out of lemon juice that day, and so used a few drops of Turkish “limon sosu”, which is pretty much the same thing. Worked a treat!
    Vibey @ Yumbo McGillicutty!´s last [type] ..Turning and Two-minute Toum

  6. Ronnie Simba says:

    Hey Fouad,

    I surfed many many sites looking for the perfect toum recipe. Eventhough I wasn’t too keen on this 2nd recipe because of the egg white, I went ahead and made it in my new blender.

    It was easy and came out perfect at the first attempt! The flavour perfect, the consistency spot on and the aroma heavenly. It turned out like a bright white intense garlicky and tangy cloud.

    Thanks a lot for your guidance.

    Ronnie Simba

  7. Mrs , mandli says:

    I made this sauce which came out so good thank you so much , I have 1 question that after add water should we blend again or leave it , please reply me and good bless you .

  8. Adam says:

    Too much liquid, I think my lemon may have been bigger/juicier than most? The flavor is there but the fluffiness is not.

  9. Paul says:

    Thats a great recipe. I am using King Brand Rice Bran oil for nearly everything now. It beats all other oils hands down for nutrition, cooking temp and you can even use it on your skin or hair. I even make soap out of it.

  10. Mallii says:

    This worked to a T! Thankyou so much!

  11. Fouad says:

    Rice bran oil has too much polyunsaturated fatty acids in it for my liking. High oleic sunflower would be my oil of choice, but I still wouldn’t go crazy with the stuff.

  12. Betty says:

    can i use extra virgin olive oil or corn oil? and how long can it last in the fridge?

  13. Fouad says:

    Olive oil is too strong and would taste aweful.
    Corn oil would work, but I avoid it for health reasons as it is an industrial oil and is too high in omega-6. But that’s just me…

  14. Chadi says:

    you might want to try a small boiled potato instead of the egg.

  15. bob says:

    Just be aware that the bowl of sauce you make with the recipe has about 2,000 calories in it. Don’t want to be eating it too much.

  16. [...] see The Food Blog for the original recipe and [...]

  17. Cat says:

    Made this last night to go with lamb burgers, it was so amazing! It worked on my first try although mine was a bit too lemony and I don’t know if my texture was exactly right, but it didnt matter anyway. Thanks for a great recipe, I have linked here from my blog post.
    Cat´s last [type] ..Lamb Burgers with Minted Garlic Sauce

  18. Tonya says:

    How many will this feed? There will be 5 people.

    Thank you.

  19. tinad920 says:

    Thank you!!! I grew up in Michigan and all of the Middle Eastern Restaurants had Toum. I now live in Chicago and no restaurants here have it:( I have searched and searched and this saved my Toum withdrawls!!

  20. [...] Mediterranean Chicken Kebab Sald in a Pita pocket. To top it off I’m even going to make some Toum, the world’s most DELICIOUS version of mayo – GARLIC mayo. It’s a Lebanese sauce [...]

  21. Prat says:

    This was so perfect! Thank you so much!! However, I confused myself by looking at your old recipe and added 1 tbsp of salt. It is WAY TOO SALTY. Is there any way to fix it without ruining the consistency? Add juice of another lemon and more oil? Thanks!!

  22. [...] While I’d love the thought of fresh toum or aioli, it was now after 10pm and I was not about to get that fancy.  I turned to some store-bought mayo instead.  I understand folks in the no-mayo boat.  Mayo-based dips make me gag.  Toum, however, does not.  The only food I love more than garlic is probably lemons.  And this toum had both.  A little dollop on a piece of naan, piled with tabouleh and hummus and chicken is absolutely wonderful.  Make a little.  Call it aioli.  Do what you need to do, but do try this dip.  Better yet (if you have the time) make your own.  This recipe sounds spot on. [...]

  23. Jenn says:

    May I ask how long this sauce can last in the fridge? Cooking for 2 only – travelling pair. Thanks!

  24. edward wenzer says:

    There are different kinds of raw eggs: the last egg in a 48-count, Walmart slat compared with an individually dated, organic, free-range tasty (… I serve kitfo, I serve tartare too). I use walnut oil. I bring everything to room temperature, except the water for the finish – which should be iced, as noted. I like to macerate a good snatch of saffron with the lemon juice and blend a few drops of chile oil with the egg white: a Levantine aioli.

  25. Sabari says:

    Can we use normal coconut oil for making this

  26. Elena says:

    Firstly let me just say I have not even tasted this garlic sauce recipe yet and I already know it will be amazing! Secondly I don’t usually like to read because I usually get bored after the first paragraph but your post on Toum was very entertaining so I kept reading .. Thanks for the laugh. When I finally make the garlic sauce I’m going to confirm how amazing you are haha

  27. veryconfusing says:

    Just made it – !!! perfect !!!. If you are using an Osterizer blender ( Read that “bar grade blender” ) – just chill the entire blender jar for about half an hour first. I dropped the ice water to 1 Tablespoon. It came out fine with pressed vegetable oil. Thanks !!!

  28. [...] see The Food Blog for the original recipe and [...]

  29. Mickey says:

    I first had this sauce in a lebanese resturaunt last June 2012, when I went to visit a relative. Let me just say, that WOW.. it came out beautifully. Thank you so much for this recipe and the steps with witch to make it. I sent it to my sister in law who introduced me to it on my visit.

  30. Kim says:

    Can I make this with coconut oil? It’s actually GOOD for you. I’d use hemp oil, but the flavor is overwhelming. I’m not sure sunflower oil is a healthy choice. I never use it and would have to buy it special for this dish….

  31. kim says:

    Hi! I love your blog. I sent a comment asking about using coconut oil. I just did that and it might work fine if you’re not going to refrigerate it. I don’t recommend it. It gets hard in the fridge and doesn’t come back if you put it back in the food processor or blender. I thought it might do that but am sending you this to confirm the suspicion. This was ‘perfect’ prior to refrigerating. It’s how I found your blog/you. Thanks! I am your newest fan. :)

  32. [...] Recently I was intrigued to discover the fluffier Lebanese Toum, as described so beautifully in a recipe post by food blogger Fouad Kassab. In the single sweep of his most eloquent recipe introduction Kassab [...]

  33. [...] Greek skordalia, a whole new door was opened to the possibilities of ways to consume garlic. Toum is a similar Lebanese garlic sauce – my roommate J tried to make it, but it’s harder [...]

  34. Jitesh says:

    Awesome….tried this today and came out awesome…have been looking for a perfect recipe for quite some time, but this one nailed it, thanks a ton!!

  35. Brian Lawson says:

    Hi,
    This was fantastic. Much thanks.

  36. Nijakowski says:

    Just made it, was a little nervous as I only have a smoothie maker (think magic bullet style) – was a little messy as I had to keep opening it to add the oil bit by bit, but came out great. Very impressed!!

  37. Maisy says:

    Delicious!!! I love this recipe. I looked for many years for a wonderful recipe like this one, thank you so much for sharing.

  38. Vic in Sydney says:

    Perfect first time. I would just use a little less lemon, but I was using massive Aussie Lemons. Emulsified on adding the second half of oil.

    Thanks heaps! Can’t believe how easy it was.

    Vic

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