Cookbook:Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

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Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)
CategoryLebanese recipes
Yield1 cup

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Toum or thoum is a garlic sauce used in Lebanon.

The method below is the traditional way toum is prepared in most parts of Lebanon.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

  • 10–40 g fresh, peeled garlic (less for a milder thoum, more for a stronger one)
  • ¾ olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and strained
  • ¼–½ tsp salt

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. Use a pestle (traditionally wooden) to smash the garlic with salt until very smooth; you can add the salt at the beginning or after the garlic is well smashed.
    Wooden mortar used to prepare toum
  2. Gradually mix in the oil—start by adding one drop at a time and stirring the oil into the garlic with the pestle. After you've added about 1 tbsp of oil and it's been well incorporated, you can drizzle the oil in rather than adding it drop by drop. Don't stop for long while mixing; it's necessary to keep stirring, stopping only for very brief periods. When finished the toum will have a similar consistency to thick mayonnaise.

Notes, tips, and variations[edit | edit source]

  • You can also crush the garlic and salt to a very smooth paste and then use a blender or food processor to incorporate the oil and lemon juice.
  • The pH of some olive oils can promote breaking of the emulsion.
  • In Lebanon the pestle used is usually wooden; some new one are made of synthetic materials; occasionally you'll see one carved of stone. Carved stone pestles are usually used for kebbeh nayyeh.