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    Toum (Garlic Sauce)

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    Toum (Garlic Sauce)

    This is a variation on traditional toum, a Lebanese garlic paste. It is usually made with a pestle and mortar using only garlic, oil, salt and a lifetime's expertise. This recipe, however, is prepared like a mayonnaise. Adding an egg yolk makes it easier to prepare while preserving the garlicky flavour. It's strong so use it sparingly. It can be made by hand but will be much quicker with an electric whisk.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 15 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 tsp fine salt
    • 1 medium egg yolk
    • 150ml groundnut oil
    • 1 tsp lemon juice


    1. Pound the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle to make a thick paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add the egg yolk. Beat with an electric whisk until pale and slightly frothy. Keeping the beater on, trickle in a tiny bit of the oil and beat until incorporated. Continue trickling in the oil, beating constantly, until it is all absorbed and you have a thick sauce that holds its shape. (If you add too much oil at once the sauce will 'split' and become very liquid. In this case, restart using a fresh yolk and slowly reincorporating the split mixture).
    2. Stir in the lemon juice and enough water to thin the sauce slightly (about 2 tbsp). It should be thick enough to be dolloped onto a plate without spreading. Add more salt if necessary, and serve.

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