In a large pot, cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse noodles with cold water, and set aside.
Pour sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice into a large bowl. Mix in lime zest, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes; stir until sugar dissolves. Toss in carrots, cilantro, and peanuts.
Cut noodles into 3-inch lengths. Stir into dressing mixture. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Toss salad again before serving. If dry, splash with soy sauce and vinegar. Serve cold.
This dish has more of a Thai flavor. For a Japanese flavor, omit the pepper flakes, peanuts, and cilantro. Add 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds.
You can substitute ramen noodles for soba.
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