The star of every barbecue gathering we host in Lebanon has got to be the Lebanese garlic sauce called toum. Pronounced as TOOM, this dip-style condiment bursts with flavor and adds a tangy twist to barbecued chicken and meat. It is often served with french fries, on top of toasted bread, or with roast vegetables.
Let's also not forget how most Lebanese people slather "extra toum" in shawarma wraps and tawook sandwiches. You might think it's pretty complex to whip up a batch of this sauce at home but honestly it doesn't have to be. We made the recipe and with a little bit of effort we promise you'll have a tub of extra delicious "toum," to serve and devour.
Ingredients You'll Need:
- Garlic: Easy to guess this one right? The recipe calls for a ton of garlic but the amount can always be adjusted based on how pungent you want your sauce to be.
- Vegetable Oil: Canola oil works great here but you can use any other vegetable oil (sunflower/corn).
- Salt: Just a pinch helps to bind all the flavors together.
- Lemon Juice: This is what gives the garlic paste a beautiful white color and it also balances the flavor out.
You will also need:
- A good knife
- Food processor or blender
- Airtight container
Tips and Tricks
- Take your time with it. If you pour in the oil or lemon juice into the blender super quick the mixture won't emulsify and you'll end up with a watery texture so a key tip is to add the garlic and salt into the food processor and whizz them up until the garlic is well minced. Then start alternating between the oil and lemon juice over a period of 15 minutes. Don't rush the process.
- Use the freshest garlic. This makes a world of difference when it comes to how the sauce tastes at the end. So make sure to pick up garlic from the store a day before you need to make a big batch of this recipe.
- Olive oil doesn't work for this recipe due to its strong flavor.
- Always use fresh lemon juice when making this sauce rather than the bottled or ready-packed versions.
How To Thicken Garlic Sauce
No cornstarch or other thickeners will do in this recipe. All you need to do is go slow while adding the oil and you'll witness the magic that's also known as the formation of a beautifully whipped garlic paste.
What Do You Eat With Toum?
Well, the list is quite endless. We like to put a little bit of it on everything really. The sauce is also often used as a dip. It goes amazingly well with grilled meats, chicken and mighty homemade fries. It's an integral part of the Lebanese mezze culture which includes popular dishes like Tabbouleh, Baba Ghanoush, Hummus and Fattoush to name a few.
How Long Can This Garlic Sauce Last in the Fridge?
The amazing news is that this sauce can last for up to a month if refrigerated in an airtight container. After a month, its freshness might be affected so make sure to use it up before it goes bad.