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

141 Comments

  • Fouad says:

    Hi Becca

    Olive oil produces a much heavier sauce, the color will be green and the flavour will be too strong. If you want to use a healthy oil, go with grape seed.

  • I have only ever made garlic mayonnaise with the yolk, and olive oil, and of course… no water. I can’t wait to try this new style of garlic sauce and will do it in the Thermomix. Of course Thermomix is NOT a blender, but it might just work at creating the vortex/suction aspect you wrote of. Thanks for this!

  • janette says:

    its funny reading this because i have watched my mum make toum for years and she does it in that exact same way, using egg white which most people found weird,i think it was her way of cutting down on the oil she puts into toum.

  • Hi Fouad: Oh yes, I made it,loved it, and am spreading that Toumy love all around! I adapted your recipe for Thermomix and have just posted it on the blog at:
    http://ow.ly/3wWD8

    Best dishes!
    Helene

  • Sash says:

    THANK YOU for the recipe. It is very easy, as promised and so yummy! I’ve made it twice now using a stick blender and it worked really well.

  • nuggnuggs says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to make it today 🙂 Looks so yummy

  • alisa says:

    i’m trying this tomorrow! if it works, you’re my new hero!

  • yvette says:

    thanks for sharing it to the world………. …made it twice with my lovely thermomix (thanks to helen from Canada) will share it with all my friends in france …

  • OMG – We are so blessed with thoughtful Thermomix blog readers… I am tickled to find that they go so far ad to follow up by coming here to thank the originator of the recipe. Wow! (Thanks again for Fouad for sharing, xo)

  • hurcee says:

    OK, I admit it, you are amazing. I’ve made it and it is VERY tasty. And its the first time EVER I’ve been able to make anything mayonnaise-like with success. Thankyou so much.

  • Erica says:

    Easiest toum recipe ever. Period. Thanks!

  • Georgette says:

    This recipe sounds great and I can’t wait to try it. If you want larger amounts do you increase the number of egg whites and if so what would the ratio be. How long does it keep in fridge?
    I have been successfully using the traditional recipe without egg white for many years, however for the last few years when I do the finished product turns GREEN and I DO NOT USE olive oil. Can someone Please tell me why??

  • ange says:

    Very nice recipe, been waiting to learn how to make that for ages! It’s really easy, just like mayonnaise… cept with mayonnaise you use the whole egg, 1 clove of garlic only and dijon mustard. I didn’t add water to your recepe because the lemon juice was good enough. Adding a bit of water at the end of making a mayo emulsifies the oil, meaning it disolves it, so if you have added too much oil, adding a bit of water will fluff up the mix. Thanks!

  • Chrissy says:

    Hi,
    I was just wondering roughly how much lemon juice to use? Since different lemons give you different amounts of juice, i can add or reduce appropriately 🙂

    Thank you!!!

  • Anna says:

    This was amazing!!! I have been craving this sauce since I had charcoal chicken in Sydney, and now I can make it here at home. So delicious, thank you very much.

  • Fouad says:

    Hi Chrissy

    I’d go for a medium lemon with a good amount of juice. But of course, you can always taste and adjust.

    Fouad

  • Edgard says:

    Hi Fouad,

    Great recipe. I’ve heard about using egg white with garlic before but I’ve always worried about using it due to salmonella. But it seems that the anti-microbial properties of garlic does it!! I’m going to try this one day. I love toom!!

    PS. Have you tried using corn starch? I was at a famous Lebanese restaurant in Toronto a few months ago and the new Lebanese waiter there poured his heart out on the table including the recipe for their garlic and he said they used starch.

    Interesting stuff.. Garlic is an art man!!

  • Dinkyfish says:

    I’ve been trying to perfect lebanese garlic sauce for years. Recently I stumbled onto this recipe and decided to try it. Well, first try wasn’t totally perfect. I started with a blender, but because the garlic wasn’t blending well initially, I decided to swap it to a food processor. I also decided to put the oil and lemon juice in, very slowly, alternating every 10mls or so. Toum turned out a bit watery. My wife insisted we try again, this time following the recipe to the letter… Praise the lord! You ARE amazing!
    Armed with a stopwatch, blender, and all the ingredients, we followed your recipe to the letter. Whilst I was adding the first lot of oil, the sound turned from liquid to solid sounding, and I was tempted to stop then. We stuck to our guns and went ahead with the lemon juice – the sound turned back to liquid slush, we thought we had failed again. With the last addition of oil, the mixture turned back to a beautiful consistent texture! Perfect fluffy Toum at last! Thanks for sharing this recipe. You don’t know how much this means to me!

  • Sara says:

    Hi,i’ve spent my childhood in saudiarabia….since shifting to india and then australia im yearning for the perfect broast fried chicken and kabsa i used to have in riyadh……could you share the recipe plz

  • Alyssa says:

    I tried this recipe today and it was so good, really quick and easy to do even though I have never made mayo or anything like it. Light, creamy and so delish, thankyou!

  • goldy says:

    well that was amazingly easy, quite hot flavour of garlic thats been in the shed for 6 months, one pitta bread and its all gone.

  • Dan says:

    By the way, you all need to know that as soon as you finish eating it you MUST have a COLA drink. It is the ONLY way to kerb the garlic breath…….

  • matthew says:

    Great simple recipe…worked perfectly….I will use more garlic next time but its soooooooooo easy…many thanks.

  • dharam says:

    Hi Fouad,

    After eating toum sauce at an lebanese rest today i looked at internet to find the recipe and found your blog. I think i am a good chef but after wasting 4 eggs, 2 cups of oil, 10 garlic cloves, 2 lemons and 1 hour i got no success. It was watery, i can’t get that buattery texture,
    Please help.

    Thanks

  • Fouad says:

    Are you using a blender? If yes, it should work so easily…

  • Edgard says:

    Hi dharam,

    What I found is that the “rate” at which you add the oil will make it or break it. Also the speed of the blender is a factor, the faster it spins, the higher the rate of adding oil can be. You may want to initially try to add the oil at a rate of 1 spoon/minute and see how it goes.

    Regards
    Edgard

  • Dinkyfish says:

    Hey Dharam,
    this happened to me a couple of times. I found that adding more oil to the final watery mix turns it back to semi solid state. I just turned the blender back on and kept adding oil until the sound changed to a chop chop noise. This was when the mixture went watery. I think it’s different if the mixture splits. I’m no expert, but this method pulled it back to fluffy texture for me.

  • Goldy says:

    message for Dharam
    Or anyone else,
    A stick blender is great as its fast and
    smaller quantities can be made. It can be blended in the bowl ready for serving. You can also whip cream with a stick blender.

  • Peter says:

    Fouad…this is Peter, Maroun’s friend. I am writing back to tell you that you are extremely amazing. You’d be proud of your brother as he followed the recipe to a “T”. The Toum is delicious.

  • Amy says:

    Could you use rice bran oil?

  • Fouad says:

    sure you can 🙂

  • elly says:

    This is the easiest recipe I have used to make this sauce. Made a batch took it to work, everyone one loved it and wanted to the recipe.

  • elly says:

    I forgot I used the ” Magic Bullet”

  • Eric says:

    I don’t know what I did wrong but I ended up with garlic-oil-egg soup 🙁

    Is it possible that the blender could be running too fast (or slow)?

    I even poured the mixture into a bowl and went at it with a hand mixer with a whisk attachment to no avail.

    The final product should be like hummus consistency, right? Mine was more like melted ice cream. Someone please help, I’m addicted to toum and need my fix!

  • Goldy says:

    hi eric it needs to be blended fast to
    so you are emulsifying the oil. use a stick blender with the normal blade head
    in a jar that normally comes with the
    blenders and it should be a creamy texture
    within seconds. good luck

  • Nikki says:

    I just made this for the first time ever. I was worried and a bit nervous about making this because I have looked at other recipes for toum, and several people label toum as rather fussy, or somewhat difficult to make. I followed your recipe exactly, except I added a few more garlic cloves, and it came out perfectly. YES!!! I was so pleased that it came out thick and creamy, and deliciously garlicky! Will definitely make this recipe again.

  • Jo Whitton says:

    I finally made this and it WAS amazing!! I’m addicted 🙂

  • Although I prefer the longer recipe (a few of us are, embarrassingly, the equivalent of 25 cousins when it comes to toum) I’ve tried it a few times now with great success.

    I wonder if it would work with this technique here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbPF_rLpd9o&feature=player_embedded

    Hmmm…

  • HonoluluBlondie says:

    Wow, so good and so EASY. The lady at the local Lebanese take out, one of the best cooks I’ve run across, was very cagey about how this is made! Ha! I am off to get some pitas for chicken and Toum! Thanks!

  • ahmed says:

    I liked your recipe so I made a very big bowl of the sauce. The taste is great but its a little bit runny. What can I do to save it now?? I want to return the texture to the butter-like feel. Please help thank you…

  • AndThePussycats says:

    YUMMMMMMMMMMO. This is delicious and so easy. I did exactly what you said, made it, tasted it, praised the Lord for how good it is LOL & am now telling you how awesome you are!!! Thank you so much for posting : )

  • Michelle says:

    I tried this recipe (wasn’t too particular with the measurements though) and my concern is not so much on the texture but the taste. Mine ended up having a very strong garlic taste that “burned” my tongue when I tried it. Any tips?

  • Michelle try adding more oil to the dip if the garlic is too biting. Also I learned from someone (and have yet to test it) that if you freeze the garlic before blending them, the biting taste diminishes a lot…

  • SuperGarlicMan says:

    Praise the Lord! Your Amazing 😉

  • Mickymitch says:

    I love toum and can only find it in Sydney at a shop in Hurstville. Each time I visit from Ballina where i live I consume mega amounts. I have just discovered that the extreme amount of garlic is lowering my blood sugar levels and as I am a diabetic it means I can reduce my Insulin when I am consuming it. I can’t wait to make it.

  • Aussie in Canada says:

    After searching and reading how difficult Toum is to make I was a little skeptical about being able pull it off, but OMG your recipe is just fantastic. Thank you!

  • Aussie in Japan says:

    Well the recipe ‘worked’ in the sense that i got a mayonnaise type consistency (bit more runny than the stuff i used to enjoy in Granville), but the problem is that it doesnt taste right. Tastes like garlic flavoured lemon sauce.
    I dont even remember sensing a lemony taste in the stuff we used to eat at Awafi’s/El Jannah. I am guessing the lemon i used was too big (6cm diameter, 8cm tall), but is it possible to reduce the lemon content and still get a good consistency?

  • ahmed says:

    USE A PROPER UPRIGHT BLENDER to solve the runny problem…you will kill yourself before it turns mayo-like with everything else. this receipe did NOT stress that enough and I learned it the hard way…

  • Kimmy says:

    Will try this with my roast chicken in the UK soon, love it.

  • […] meal will be on the menu many more times.  Another addition to kick up this dish a little bit is toum, a Middle Eastern garlic dip (toum translates to garlic but is used to describe this dip too).  I […]

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