Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 7, 2012 09:33 AM

Toum, like Shish prepares it

I've tried a couple of times to recreate this, which is one of the most addictive condiments I have ever tasted in several decades of eating around the world.

Of course, there's a bunch of recipes online, but so far I haven't discovered the secret to coming as close as possible to duplicating the taste/texture--not even whether it lies with the ingredients or the preparation.

Any theories/ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Toum? Is that the whipped garlicky spread that comes with the lamb kebabs? If so, that is REALLY good and I'm delighted to find that they sell it in containers now.

    1. Absolutely my favorite dip ever! I prepare toum in a blender using the egg white blend. Are you familiar with it? If not, I can share a link for step by step preparation. The right consistency is everything when it comes to toum. Two nights ago I spread toum on a leg of lamb and roasted it.

      1. Traditional Lebanese thoum sauce is just oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice emulsified. You can add mint or perhaps another herb of choice if you like. But there is no egg. I don't know your resto Shish and if they make it the traditional way or not, but if so, that's all there is to it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          There is egg white in the version I make, luckyf. I wouldn't have mentioned the egg white if I didn't actually use it and you didn't mention the key component, cold water that achieves the ideal emuslification commercial brands are known for.

          Here's the recipe, 2 rec's:

          1. re: HillJ

            I have never heard of water in it or used water in it either.

            I didn't make that post to contradict you, sorry if that was the impression. I just gave information on what is traditional.

            Even in the second link you have provided, the author states this:

            "My first toum recipe is undeniably a success story, having made possible what most of you thought was impossible: home-made Lebanese garlic sauce as good as any restaurant’s toum, made by a fail-safe recipe that needed only oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt." Then if you clink on the hyperlink to his first thoum recipe it is just that, very traditional, and he suggests adding egg or other additives only as an alternative if your emulsion splits.

            People can add egg white or sour cream or cold water or whatever they want. But traditionally those are not used.

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Both blogs state at home preparation and I think the one blogger does an excellent job outlining steps to avoid and steps that work for home use. What you wind up with is a lovely toum and I hope the OP finds it worth a go.

        2. I see my post got moved, unfortunately. I wonder if many Twin Cities members read this board. Shish is a restaurant in St Paul, MN.

          I'm not a stickler for traditional preparations only, though I would prefer to avoid using egg whites.

          What I am most interested in is re-creating the way Shish makes it, because it is DIVINE and my home attempts so far have not yielded as wonderful a concoction. I'm very good at searching and at this point prefer to focus on an approach that can more systematically get me to what I want, rather than just trying various recipes, hoping one hits the target.

          Does anyone here have a based-upon-eating-it opinion how Shish prepares it??

          Or, any food scientists out there?

          I know there's garlic and salt in it. I think there's lemon juice. I can't taste anything else for the garlic and salt. I don't *think* there's egg white. If there's oil, it's not a high proportion, IMO (which could be wrong). The texture is very light, almost creamy (I don't think there's any dairy in it). The flavor is strong, but not (to me) overwhelming. My home versions tasted too strong, and they weren't as "fluffy".