Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Lebanese garlic sauce is a fluffy garlic sauce- aka toum. A delicious condiment and can be used as a dip, spread or whisked into salad dressings and more.

Calling all my fellow garlic loving people!

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (19)

If you’ve gotten carry-out or have dined-in at a Middle Eastern restaurant, you were most likely given small cups of this heavenly, fluffy garlic sauce. Also know as toum. It’s a condiment that can be used as a dip, spread or whisked into salad dressings and more.

If you’ve had chicken shawarma wraps, then there’s a very good chance you’ve had this sauce.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (18)

The recipe behind this addictively potent and magical white garlic sauce has been a complete mystery in my family for years. Every single time we order from La Marsa (extra garlic sauce please!) it’s the same thing : “How in the world do they make this?” or “What makes it so creamy?” or “I’ve heard that it’s potato.”

Well my lovely friends, all questions will be answered in this step-by-step post on how to make that crazy delicious Lebanese garlic sauce.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (1)

First up: What’s in it? GARLIC! Garlic, salt, oil and lemon juice. That’s it. No potato, egg or sour cream and mayonnaise as some may think. And it all happens by going slow, taking your time and creating an emulsion in your food processor.

If you can make homemade mayonnaise, you can make toum.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (2)

Start with a cup of peeled, whole garlic cloves. Make sure the bulbs are firm with tight skins and do are not sprouting green shoots.

I have one of those silicon tubes for peeling garlic, but I’ve been told you can place all individual cloves of garlic into a stainless bowl with another stainless bowl over top (rim to rim), and shake what your mama gave ya. The peels should/will come right off. I have yet to try it, but after rolling 4 bulbs worth of garlic cloves… I may will definitely try it next.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (3)

In to your food processor, fitted with the blade attachment, add 2 teaspoons kosher salt and the cup of peeled, whole garlic cloves.

**TIP: when I was doing my research on this sauce, I watched several YouTube video tutorials and I remember one saying to make sure every tool and gadget is thoroughly dried and that there is zero water in your processor, on your spatula or measuring cups and spoons. Water will not allow the emulsion of oil and lemon juice with the garlic.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (4)

Pulse until finely chopped.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (5)

Scrape down the sides with a spatula…

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (6)

…secure the lid once more and pulse until finely minced, scraping down the sides one last time.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (8)

With the motor running, S-L-O-W-L-Y pour a half cup of grapeseed oil in a thin and steady stream into the processor.

Why grapeseed oil? Well, truthfully, the thought of using 4 cups of oil period gives me the heebie-jeebies (did I spell that right?) so I went with an oil that is more healthy. Typically corn or vegetable oil is recommended, and will most likely yield a lighter and fluffier sauce. However grapeseed or (light or extra light) olive oil can be used. The taste is still delicious it just may affect the overall fluffiness but who cares? It’s garlic sauce!

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (7)

Allow the processor to continue to blend for 30 seconds before pouring in 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (9)

Repeat these steps, going slow and not rushing adding in 1/2 cup (of oil) and then letting it run for 30 seconds before adding the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Keep alternating, scraping down the sides once in a while, until you’ve used up both the oil and lemon juice.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (10)
Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (11)
Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (12)

Once the oil and lemon juice is used, continue to blend for another 30 to 45 seconds until light and fluffy.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (13)

BOOM! Money.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (14)

It’s incredible isn’t it? Just salt, garlic, oil and lemon juice.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (15)

Remove the bowl from the base of the processor because this sauce will get a little warm from being processed over the course of 10 (ish) minutes straight and will need to cool down. Have the Lebanese garlic sauce cool for an hour on the counter or until the sauce is room temperature and no longer warm. You just don’t want any moisture to accumulate on the lid of the container that you’re storing it in, or the water could drip into the sauce and it could cause the garlic sauce to separate.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 months, or portion this up and freeze for up to 6 months and have garlic sauce whenever you wish.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (17)

I do try to make this garlic sauce a day in advance. This will give it a chance to calm and mellow out a bit. Because this is a garlic sauce, so expect it to be potent.

This Lebanese garlic sauce is crazy delicious and my entire family loves it.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (18)

You can serve this Lebanese garlic sauce with freshly baked pita bread, chicken shawarma or shish tawook. However there are dozens and dozens of ways to use this amazing garlic sauce.

Enjoy!

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (21)

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Print

Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)

An addictively potent and magical white garlic sauce. Use as a dip, spread or whisk into salad dressings. It's without a doubt delicious!

Yield: about 5 cups

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup peeled garlic cloves (about four small to medium bulbs)

4 cups grapeseed oil (or vegetable or corn oil may be used)

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained

Directions:

In the bowl of your food processor, add the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and the peeled garlic cloves.

Pulse until chopped. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time before securing the lid.

With the food processor running, very slowly pour a 1/2 cup of oil in thin steady stream through the hole of your lid or the food chute. Stop and allow the processor to run for 30 seconds before adding in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Repeat this step; 1/2 cup of oil, allow the processor to run for 30 second, then add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice until both the oil and lemon juice are gone.

Once all the oil and lemon juice have been used, continue to process the garlic sauce until light and fluffy, about 30 to 45 more seconds.

Remove the bowl from the food processor and take out the blade. Allow the sauce to cool on the counter for 1 hour or until the sauce has cooled down before storing.

SIMPLY SCRATCH TIPS: Make sure every tool and gadget is thoroughly dried and that there is zero water in the bowl or on the blade of your food processor or on your spatula, measuring cups and spoons. Water will not allow the emulsion of oil and lemon juice with the garlic.

Use fresh garlic! Bulbs that have sprouts coming off the top are not good! Use bulbs of garlic that are firm, with tight skins and are without blemish or green sprouts.

Also allow the sauce to cool completely for an hour on the counter or until the sauce is room temperature and not warm whatsoever. You just don't want any moisture to accumulate on the lid of the container you're storing it in or the water could drip into the sauce and it could cause the garlic sauce to separate.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 t0 2 months, or portion this up and freeze for up to 6 months and have garlic sauce whenever you wish.
For best results, make a day in advance.

Lebanese Garlic Sauce l SimplyScratch.com (20)

    Pin It

21 Responses to “Lebanese Garlic Sauce”

  1. #
    1
    Kelly Jo — June 8, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Oh my, heaven on earth this stuff! I had to stay in Grand Rapids for a work seminar and both days I ate at this awesome Lebanese restaurant and I couldn’t get enough of it. Didn’t know it was called Toum. Can’t wait to make this!

  2. #
    2
    Marcy — June 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    This stuff is what hopes and dreams are made of. The city I live in (Halifax, Can.) is full of Lebanese restaurants and I always get extra garlic sauce on my Wednesday night $5 shawarma I pick up after teaching spin class at the gym next door! Thaaank you!

  3. #
    3
    melissa — June 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I have had this stuff and always wondered how it was so incredibly delicious and smooth. It is very addictive and I will probably smear it on (almost) everything. I am very excited and will be making it tonight. I can’t wait!
    Thank you for the recipe. And by the way, your pictures are always so gorgeous!

  4. #
    4
    Sandra — June 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Omg!! Best thing ever! Had it on home made sour dough and husband thinks I’m a goddess! Thanks so much for a new favorite. I grew so much garlic this year so this is great!!

  5. #
    5
    Jody — June 26, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    So, I know it’s supposed to sit on the counter to cool down for an hour… however, husband and daughter found it, and well, I *think* we might have enough left for ONE meal. Now all I need a Lebanese rice recipe, lol

  6. #
    6
    John — June 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I love this stuff and have been trying to get as close as possible to the fabulous Toum made at the Shish Kebab Express on Telegraph Rd. in Southfield for years. It’s tough ! There isn’t a single dish I make that I mess up as much as this … but when it’s good, it’s heavenly !

    3 tips i’ve picked up…. First, keep a small bowl of ice water (mostly ice, little water) nearby and at the very end, add one or two Tbsp of ice water to the processor. Each little bit of water makes it lighter and fluffier.

    Second, if you just can’t get it to emulsify, it might be your processor. Mine is not great. Rather than joust at windmills all day, if I’m running low on garlic, I’ll use the method with an egg white to facilitate emulsification. It’s cheating, but it makes it far more likely to come together.

    Finally, with the garlic … this is just about the only dish I will ever buy pre-peeled garlic to make. If I have to do it myself, I usually separate the cloves, put on a piece of paper towel, and microwave them all for 15 – 20 seconds. That releases the bond between the garlic skin and the peel, and makes the peels just pop off. It’s FAR easier that using a knife to smash or running through a tube roller – you can just pop the cloves out when they cool a bit.

  7. #
    7
    Jen P. — August 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Laurie, this looks amazing as usual… I’m curious how much minced garlic you end up with after processing the cup of cloves, any idea? Thanks!

  8. #
    8
    Sandy — September 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Hi!
    I couldn’t get it to emulsify at all! It’s just liquid deliciousness. Any ideas?? Thanks!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — September 30th, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

      Hmmm Sandy, that stinks! My only guesses could be that either your food process may not blend as fast as needed, somehow water got into the mixture or the ingredients were added to quickly. It’s really hard to say without seeing the whole process. Here’s a video that I hope may help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufDD773NQMY

    • Kathrine breeden replied: — June 18th, 2017 @ 8:57 pm

      I’ve been making this for years and what I do is to purée the garlic and salt in a blender in full power then I mix the oil and lemon juice together with an immersion blender (or you could just shake them together in a jar) and then very slowly add that mixture in a thin stream to the garlic purée. If your sauce does go wrong, don’t throw the oil away, start over with another few garlic cloves and salt and add the “failed” mixture slowly to the new mixture.

      • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 20th, 2017 @ 10:38 pm

        These are great tips, Kathrine! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. #
    9
    Anneke — October 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    The recipe turned out great. I froze extra but the consistency was not the same when it defrosted. Any suggestions?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 14th, 2016 @ 7:41 am

      From everything I’ve read, if moisture (water, condensation etc.) get’s into the sauce it can affect the consistency, which may be hard to avoid when freezing/thawing.

  10. #
    10
    Eli — February 5, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Hi What is the brand of the food processor that you used to make the toum? I am trying to find a processor that minces the garlic to a paste and emulsifies it especially for this sauce. Thank you.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — February 10th, 2017 @ 8:05 am

      Hi Eli! I have a Cuisinart and I love it!!

  11. #
    11
    Iris Francis — June 28, 2017 at 10:53 am

    this is amazing .I am not familiar with cups so guest and I had only virgin olive oil so it was a pale green bowl of loveliness.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 3rd, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

      I’m glad to hear it work out for you, Iris!

  12. #
    12
    Jean — August 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Oh man, this stuff is addictive. I found your recipe when I was trying to find a substitute for the garlic paste I buy from a local Lebanese market. I, too, was nervous about the four cups of oil, but the flavor is just bananas. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — August 16th, 2017 @ 9:30 am

      I know, 4 cups of oil is A LOT! But you see how it doesn’t taste oil and the recipe makes a bunch. I’m so glad you liked it, Jean!

  13. #
    13
    Vic — October 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I’m in Cape Town and ate at a local franchise branded restaurant this evening where they served this up with bread. The waiter gave me the ingredients but incorrect quantities and called it Tumo. or mayeb i misheard.. As a private chef I am always keen on new things so after Googling a bit, came across your receipe. Cheers and look forward to making some Toum soon

Leave a Comment