Toum is a classic Lebanese garlic sauce that’s packed with garlicky flavors and has the most perfect velvety consistency, like mayonnaise. It’s made using pantry staples like garlic, lemon, and neutral oil for a sauce that can transform your sandwiches or be a tasty dip!
If you’ve never tried toum, you have got to try this recipe! Toum is a traditional Lebanese garlic sauce made by emulsifying garlic and oil. It’s similar to mayonnaise but instead of egg and oil, you’ll be using garlic and oil.
Read on to learn how to make this toum recipe at home!
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy to make: This toum recipe is incredibly straightforward, requiring only a handful of basic ingredients and a chopper. The method is simple to follow, with the garlic, salt, and oil blended together in stages, guaranteeing a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Quick: With a speedy prep time and a quick blending process, you can have this delicious Lebanese garlic sauce ready in no time.
- Family-favorite: This authentic recipe has been enjoyed by families all over Lebanon for generations. It is a classic sauce that's a staple in many homes, and is likely to become a favorite in your household as well.
- Versatile: This toum sauce is incredibly versatile. It works wonderfully as a spread in sandwiches and is equally delicious as a dip for a variety of dishes.
- Delicious: The combination of fresh garlic, tangy lemon juice, and a neutral cooking oil creates a sauce that's bursting with flavor. The removal of the germ in the center of the garlic prevents bitterness, guaranteeing a deliciously smooth and creamy garlic sauce.
Making this garlic sauce is incredibly simple and will give you great results every time. More details about the ingredients and measurements are in the recipe card below!
- Garlic: This is the star of the show in this Lebanese garlic sauce. It adds a robust flavor to the sauce. Cutting the garlic in half and removing the germ from the center will prevent the sauce from turning bitter.
- Lemon Juice: The juice of half a lemon will cut through the strong garlic flavor, giving the sauce a refreshing tanginess.
- Salt: Just half a teaspoon of salt will enhance the flavors of the garlic and lemon juice, making them stand out more.
- Neutral Cooking Oil: This is the binding agent that brings all the ingredients together into a smooth sauce. It's important to use a neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil, as it won't overpower the flavors of the other ingredients. That’s why I don’t recommend olive oil for this recipe.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE TOUM (GARLIC SAUCE)
First place the garlic in the fridge for about half an hour before using it. This is an essential step that we'll discuss more in the notes section.
In a chopper, combine the garlic, salt, and a tablespoon of oil. Blend this mixture for a few seconds until you achieve a finely chopped consistency.
Continue to add one tablespoon of oil at a time. After each addition, blend the mixture at full speed for at least twenty seconds. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the chopper and blend again. This will help guarantee that all the ingredients are well combined.
Remember to scrape the chopper thoroughly for a smooth sauce.
When you have four tablespoons of oil left, it is time to start alternating between oil and lemon juice. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, blend, then add a tablespoon of oil, blend again, followed by another tablespoon of lemon juice and blend. You should end this process by adding the remaining oil, one tablespoon at a time.
At the end of the process, you should have a smooth but slightly firm sauce. This toum sauce is perfect for sandwiches or as a dip.
👩🏽🍳 PRO TIPS
- Remove the garlic germ: Before starting, cut the garlic in half and remove the germ in the center. This will prevent your toum from turning bitter.
- Chill your garlic: Place the garlic in the fridge for about half an hour before adding it to the chopper. This will keep the sauce from breaking and the oil from separating, guaranteeing a smoother consistency.
- Blend in stages: In your chopper, add the garlic, salt, and a tablespoon of oil. Blend until finely chopped. Gradually add the rest of the oil, one tablespoon at a time, and blend thoroughly after each addition.
- Alternate between oil and lemon juice: When you have four tablespoons of oil left, start alternating between adding a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of oil. This will help achieve the right balance of flavors in your toum.
- Scrape the chopper: Always remember to scrape the sides of the chopper and blend again. This will make sure that all ingredients are well incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
- Avoid stirring post-blending: Do not mix the toum after taking it out of the chopper. This can create warmth and cause the sauce to separate.
- Refrigerate immediately: Once your toum is ready, refrigerate it immediately to maintain its texture. This delicious Lebanese garlic sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.
🍽️ HOW TO SERVE
Here are all the traditional ways you can use this delicious garlic sauce:
- Spread on sandwiches or warmed pita bread.
- Serve it with grilled meats.
- As a dip for snacks like french fries or Middle Eastern Authentic Falafel.
💬 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The germ in the center of the garlic can cause bitterness in your toum. Removing it guarantees that your Lebanese garlic sauce retains its delicious, robust flavor without any unwanted bitterness.
Refrigerating the garlic for about half an hour to an hour before blending helps prevent the sauce from breaking. This is because the chopper can generate heat during the blending process, which can cause the oil to separate from the sauce.
Yes, it is perfectly normal to see a little oil on the side of the container or jar as this recipe doesn't use any cornstarch or eggs. You can still use the sauce without any concerns.
No, it is advised to use a neutral cooking oil for this recipe. Olive oil can alter the taste of the toum and may not yield the desired consistency.
- Refrigerate: Immediately after preparation, store your toum in the fridge to maintain its texture. Placing it in an airtight container or jar will keep it fresh for up to a month. You might notice a little oil on the side, but no worries! This is normal, and the sauce is still perfectly edible. The dip will get firmer, and that's normal too.
- Freeze: Unfortunately, freezing toum isn't recommended. The sauce will separate and won’t be the same after thawing.
📣 MORE MIDDLE EASTERN RECIPES
⭐ PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
If you have tried this recipe and liked it, please give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment below with your experience!
Toum Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- ½ cup garlic cut in half, remove the germ in the center
- 2 tablespoon lemon Juice Juice of half a lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup of neutral cooking oil don’t use olive oil
- Note 1: I made the Sauce/Dip in a chopper since it is available in most houses, it’s faster, and the sauce doesn’t usually break or separate using this method.
- Note 2: Place the garlic in the fridge for 30 minutes before adding it to the chopper. More details are in the notes below.
- In a chopper, add the garlic, salt, and a tablespoon of oil. Blend for a few seconds until the garlic is finely chopped.
- Keep adding one tablespoon of oil at a time and blend at full speed for at least 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the chopper and blend again.
- When there is four tablespoon of oil left, now add one tablespoon of lemon juice and blend, then add one tablespoon of oil and blend, then a tablespoon of lemon juice and blend. End the process with adding the remaining oil, one tablespoon at a time.
- Remember to scrape the chopper for a smooth sauce.
- You should now have a smooth but a little firm sauce that you can use in your sandwich or as a dip.
- Removing the germ at the center of the garlic prevents the sauce from getting bitter.
- Placing the garlic in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge will prevent the sauce from breaking and the oil from separating, since the chopper will get warm from chopping.
- Do not mix the toum after taking it out of the chopper, it will create warmth and the sauce may separate.
- Refrigerate the toum immediately to maintain it’s texture. This recipe is the authentic one, and has no cornstarch or eggs to keep it firm for long. Hence, you might see a little oil on the side of the container or jar it is stored in, which is normal and you can still use it.
- This sauce stores in the fridge for 1 month.