Foolproof Fluffy Toum: Garlic Sauce With Egg White For Extra Stability

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Toum, also known as toumya or thومة (thoomma), is a vibrant, garlicky sauce originating from the Middle East. This delightful condiment boasts a smooth, almost whipped texture and a flavor profile that dances between potent garlic and a subtle tang. Toum elevates countless dishes, from sandwiches and wraps to grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

This recipe takes a classic approach to toum, incorporating egg white for a lighter, airier consistency. It’s surprisingly simple to make, requiring minimal ingredients and just a touch of patience. Let’s dive into the world of toum!

Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)


1 large head of garlic (about 10 cloves)

  • 1 large lemon, juiced (around 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (canola, grapeseed, or vegetable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper (optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Prep the Garlic: Peel the garlic cloves and separate them. Discard any green sprouts or discolored cloves. Rinse the peeled cloves under cool running water and pat them thoroughly dry with a clean kitchen towel. Moisture can hinder the emulsification process, so ensuring the garlic is completely dry is crucial.

    2. Grind the Garlic: This step is where patience comes into play. Traditionally, toum is made by pounding the garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle until they form a smooth paste. However, for a quicker approach, you can use a food processor.

    Here’s how to do it with a mortar and pestle:

  • Place the cloves in the mortar and begin pounding with a rhythmic motion. Focus on extracting the oils from the garlic and creating a fine paste. This can take 5-10 minutes of persistent effort.
  • Here’s how to do it with a food processor:

  • Pulse the garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with the S-blade attachment. Start with short pulses, scraping down the sides as needed. Be patient and avoid over-processing, as this can turn the garlic bitter. You want a smooth paste, not a puree.
  • 3. Emulsify the Sauce: This is where the magic happens! Transfer the garlic paste to a medium bowl.

  • Traditional Method: Slowly drizzle in the lemon juice, whisking constantly. This incorporates air and starts the emulsification process. Once all the lemon juice is incorporated, continue whisking vigorously. The mixture will begin to thicken and lighten in color.
  • Food Processor Method: With the motor running on low speed, slowly drizzle in the lemon juice through the feed chute. Continue processing until the mixture thickens and becomes lighter in color.
  • 4. Incorporate the Oil: Now comes the most crucial step – slowly adding the oil to create a stable emulsion. Here’s where the egg white comes in.

  • With the mixture continuously whisking (either by hand or using the food processor), begin drizzling in the oil in a very thin, steady stream. It’s vital to add the oil gradually to allow the mixture to absorb it and prevent separation.
  • Once about half of the oil is incorporated, add the egg white. Continue drizzling the remaining oil while whisking vigorously.
  • 5. Season and Adjust: The toum should be thick, creamy, and bursting with garlicky flavor. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and white pepper (optional) to your preference.

    6. Serve and Store: Enjoy your homemade toum immediately! It’s divine drizzled over grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or dolloped onto sandwiches and wraps. You can also use it as a dip for pita bread or crudités.

    Tip: Toum is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavor may become slightly more intense over time.

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving, Approximately 2 tablespoons)

    Calories: 120

  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Protein: 1g

  • Conclusion

    Toum is a versatile condiment that adds a delightful punch to a variety of dishes. Its vibrant garlic flavor and creamy texture elevate simple meals into culinary delights. With this easy recipe and a touch of patience, you can create your own jar of toum to enjoy at home.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I substitute the egg white with something else?