Banh-Mi Inspired Brats

100% bumped up to the “WHOA, THESE CAN LIVE IN MY MOUTH ALL SUMMER” category.

And 100% simple. You will OBSESS over these. I shouldn’t even type out words and just show you the photos because that’s all you honestly need for these brats.

Except you know I would never do that to you.

Let us peepeth! (I’m sure my friend Lacy is like WHEN will she stop saying it like that.)

The only real prep for these is the topping. The Vietnamese-inspired spicy, crunchy, fresh, delicious topping. But you can tweak it a little, and I’ll show you how. But there is one thing I want you NOT to omit because it’s the secret James Bond ingredient in this recipe that makes it what it is. And I need you to trust me on this. And perk up those ear holes.


Okay here we go.

Fish sauce. It’s all about the fish sauce. You know when you eat something from a Vietnamese restaurant and you’re like WHY IS THIS ILLEGALLY PERFECT? It’s the fish sauce.

But this is the thing. Don’t smell it. I know I’ve said it a few times on this internet blog URL website, but I mean it. Buy the bottle, open the lid, add a couple of tsp to the filling, put the lid back on and put it away. Do not smell it. I can’t have any more voodoo dolls made out of me this month.

The smell IS NOT the same as its taste. Trust. Truuuuuust. Buy the fish sauce.

So the topping is a mix of shredded carrots (buy it preshedded!), a sliced jalapeno (omit if you’re a sissy), fresh cucumber, thinly sliced radishes, fish sauce (I said don’t smell it!), sugar and white vinegar. Mix that all together and let it sit for as long as you can. The longer it sits, the better it will be. Unlike butts. Ha! What?

Sear your brats, bruh! And these are straight up regular brats. Or maybe Polish dogs, I’m not sure what Aaron brought home. If you want flavored brats, that’s totally fine. Just know that it might compete with your amazing topping. And we can’t have that.

Spread some mayo on your toasted hot dog buns. (another traditional banh mi condiment. I’m serious) These are the top-split ones from TJ’s, which I LOVE. I think top split is a fun outlook. Except maybe not for teenage girls at MTV Cancun. Ha! What?

And then you pile it in and on. The brats, the crisp marinated peppers and veggies. And the final touch are sprigs of fresh cilantro. Just tuck them in any way you can.

You will be FLOORED at these flavors. I promise you. Outrageously tasty. And it’s that pop of the brat when you bite in, next to the juices that flow out, next to the carrots and cucumbers and radishes all sitting in that sugar/fish sauce/vinegar mix. Can’t stand it. It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Did the kids eat it? YEP. I fished out (haha) the jalapenos for their servings, so the spice wasn’t as intense, but they inhaled. Completely snarfed them down. Crunchy carrots with kids though? Win.

And just tell them that the radish is carrot’s posh cousin from France or something. Peppery and crunchy. I dunno, you got this.

All I know is that your Memorial Day weekend is RUINED without these. RUINED I TELL YOU.

Just don’t smell the fish sauce.

Banh-Mi Inspired Brats
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  • 5-8 brats
  • 5-8 brat buns, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. white vinegar
  • About a cup of torn cilantro
  • A few Tbs. mayonnaise


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, cucumber, radishes, jalapeno, fish sauce, sugar and vinegar. Toss with tongs and let this sit as long as you can.
  2. Once you’re ready to eat, sear the brats all over until cooked through and nicely browned. Spread the mayo on each toasted brat bun. Add the brats, and tong out the marinated veggies right on top. Garnish with cilantro and dive in.
  3. Serves 5-8!

Happening in my face again so, so soon.


10 Responses to Banh-Mi Inspired Brats

  1. Bev Weidner May 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm #
  2. Kristin May 27, 2021 at 1:17 pm #
    Ok, second try at commenting now that they're fixed. I can't wait to try these, as I've been pretty bored with brats lately, but have to continue to make them because we're from Wisconsin, and it's the law. It's also the law that we're supposed to drink beer, but we hate it, and just boil our brats in it before we grill them, and also use it for beer battered cod. Please don't report us. I will be making this next week after we return from visiting our son. We are a family of fish sauce lovers. We went to Vietnam Cafe in Columbus Park for dinner before our daughter's National Honor Society Induction (ha! We got lunch there yesterday! Such a good restaurant!). She somehow managed to splatter fish sauce on herself, as one does, and I thought she smelled delightful, but wonder what the kids who had to stand next to her thought. That smell hangs around! I am so glad you thought of this and shared it with us! Thank you!!!
  3. Corinne May 27, 2021 at 2:22 pm #
    These look freaking amazing
  4. Julie May 27, 2021 at 4:21 pm #
    Ok, I am adding these to my meal plan for the weekend. So pretty and great idea to change up the brat toppings. Living in Milwaukee, brats are everywhere. These look awesome.
  5. Julie May 29, 2021 at 4:24 pm #
    Made them, and I can confirm how great these are! Never would have thought of doing this on my own!
  6. Elisa May 29, 2021 at 9:36 pm #
    OHMMMGEE! Super easy, super delicious, ate the topping before the brats were done, had to make more. Off the charts easy, and delectable. Will be our summer go-to. Thank you a million times!!!
  7. Anna May 30, 2021 at 8:56 pm #
    These were amazing! So simple, but so flavorful - a fresh twist to a cookout favorite. Do the fish sauce, you won’t regret it :)
  8. Sabrina May 31, 2021 at 3:23 pm #
    great idea for a brat, especially since the traditional pairings for banh-mi sandwiches aren't my favorite, love the contrast, thank you!
  9. Kristin June 3, 2021 at 8:48 pm #
    Oh. My. Gosh. I am prone to hyperbole, but I am not exaggerating when I say that these are fabulous! I was so over brats, but I kind of wanted a second one tonight. The pickled veggies were such a great counterpoint to the fattiness of the brats. I am soooo happy that I can enjoy them again. I don't know if I can eat this in front of anyone, because I was pretty messy, but we usually only have brats with family. Thanks again for sharing your brainstorm!
  10. Sarah June 7, 2021 at 10:45 am #
    I made these and my boyfriend took 2 bites and called me the love of his life for the first time. THATS HOW GOOD THEY ARE!!! I used pineapple brats and hoisin mayo. the pickled veggies really elevate the whole dish. we have had them twice in a week. easy enough for week nights but fancy enough for company.

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