Toum (Garlic Aioli)
Prep Time10 mins
Toum is an iconic Lebanese garlic aioli made with raw garlic and a neutral oil. It is similar to mayonnaise in color and texture but, with a very pungent taste.
From here on out, Toum will officially be your new favorite condiment. Toum is most often paired with chicken shawarma, or rotisserie chicken. However, it works so well with any grilled meats, such as Shish Tawook or any kinds of kabobs.
How to make Toum
To anyone who has never made it before, this sauce may seem quite intimidating. However, all it requires is some patience, along with following the directions exactly. To make toum, you need a food processor. The old-fashioned way or “classic” way to make it is with a mortar and pestle, which requires extreme patience and a lot more time, I can only imagine (I have not tried.) Sometimes I’ll use my larger food processor but, since I tend to make smaller batches for my small family, I use my mini 3.5 cup Kitchen aid one.
One of the most important ingredients to make toum is a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil. Olive oil can NOT be substituted. It is too heavy and will make it very hard for your sauce to come together. As for other neutral oils, I have tried avocado oil and it works.
The sauce is made by processing the raw garlic cloves with salt and lemon juice followed by a very thin stream of oil while the processor is running. Most processors have a hole on top allowing for you to pour something in while the processor is running. After a few minutes, the sauce should come start coming together into a white fluffy sauce.
At first it might seem that the sauce is very runny but, have patience and keep the machine running and before you know it, the sauce will come together! If for some reason or another (which has happened to me many times) the sauce had not come together after more than 5 minutes or the sauce has “broken”, add 1 egg white to mixture and process for a few more minutes. The egg white will stabilize the sauce.
Once your sauce has thickened and is ready for serving, you can leave it as is but, to give you a heads up, it has a VERY strong and sharp garlic flavor. To many people (including myself), it overpowers the food so, I learned from my mother the popular way to make the garlic sauce mild is to add mayonnaise. I add a ¼ cup of mayo and pulse to combine. I have heard of people adding a piece of a boiled potato instead of mayonnaise as an alternative.
Using a small knife, peel the garlic cloves until you have a ½ cup worth. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of oil and set aside. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons) and set aside.
Place the peeled garlic into the bowl of your food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse until finely minced. Add half the lemon juice and pulse to combine.
Slowly add the remaining oil and keep processing for a total of 5-7 minutes until a white fluffy paste has formed. Taste for salt.
Add ¼ cup of mayonnaise to lessen the sharp garlic taste and pulse to combine. **Optional
- ½ cup Garlic Cloves
- 1½ cup Neutral Oil Vegetable or Canola
- 2 tb. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise (Optional)
- Using a small knife, peel the garlic cloves until you have a ½ cup worth. Measure out 1.5 cups of oil and set aside. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons) and set aside.
- Place the peeled garlic into the bowl of your food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse until finely minced. Add half the lemon juice and pulse to combine.
- With the food processor running, begin adding the oil slowly in a very thin stream. Once you have added about a half cup, add the remaining lemon juice. Keep the food processor running and you should see a white paste beginning to form.
- Slowly add the remaining oil and keep processing for a total of 5-7 minutes until a white fluffy paste has formed. Taste for salt.
- Add ¼ cup of mayonnaise to lessen the sharp garlic taste and pulse to combine. ** (Optional)