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Published January 6, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious Toum recipe is a creamy Lebanese garlic sauce with light lemon flavors that are perfect for dipping or spreading. You will love the bold taste that this sauce offers.
Toum is Arabic for “garlic,” a traditional Lebanese and Middle-Eastern sauce commonly served with falafel, French fries, and grilled chicken, among other dishes. It is similar to a classic aioli recipe and can be used similarly.
The appearance of toum is like a fluffy mayonnaise and has heavy garlic flavors with a hint of lemon juice and salt. It’s a well-balanced sauce and will enhance the flavor of anything you decide to serve it with.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Garlic – Use whole garlic cloves with the root end trimmed and the germ if green.
- Water – A few tablespoons of water will help emulsify the sauce.
- Lemon Juice – This will be used to help cut down the heat from the raw garlic.
- Salt – I always use sea salt in my cooking and baking.
- Oil – Any neutral flavored oil like sunflower, canola, vegetable, or safflower oil will work.
How to Make Toum
Add garlic and salt to a food processor.
Pulse on high-speed several times until the garlic becomes finely minced. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
Stop the food processor and add water and lemon juice.
Process at high speed until it becomes a smooth liquid.
While processing at high speed, slowly add in the oil until it becomes emulsified and resembles the consistency of mayonnaise.
Chill or serve.
How Do You Fix Toum Emulsion?
If your toum is not emulsifying, you can try the following:
- While making it in the food processor, process it in 1 cold pasteurized egg to act as the liaison to help make it fluffy.
- You may need more oil and more high-speed processing to emulsify.
- Try adding 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time while processing.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 2 days ahead of time.
How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. This will not freeze well.
Chef Notes + Tips
- Feel free to use any neutral flavor that suits you best.
- You can add more or less garlic, depending on how much you like its flavor.
- If you do not have a food processor, you will need to finely mince the garlic with the salt, vigorously whisk in the water and lemon juice, and then slowly add the oil.
More Sauce Recipes
Toum Recipe (Garlic Sauce)
- ½ cup trimmed garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups neutral flavored oil
- Add the garlic and salt to a food processor.
- Pulse on high-speed several times until the garlic becomes finely minced. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- Stop the food processor and add water and lemon juice.
- Process at high speed until it becomes a smooth liquid.
- While processing at high speed, slowly add in the oil until it becomes emulsified and resembles the consistency of mayonnaise.
- Chill or serve.