Make Asian noodle salad by cooking dry soba noodles using the package instructions and rinsing them in cold water immediately after cooking. Cut the noodles into short lengths, and dress them in a homemade Asian sauce.
To make the Asian sauce, combine 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1/3 cup of soy sauce and the juice from a lime. Stir in the zest from a lime, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. Add 1 cup of grated carrots, 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Mix the noodles into the sauce, and refrigerate the salad for at least an hour.
Serve Asian noodle salad cold, straight from the refrigerator. Prior to serving, toss the salad again, and add extra soy sauce and vinegar to taste.
This noodle salad recipe features Thai flavors. For a Japanese-flavored salad, leave out the cilantro, red pepper and peanuts and add 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds. Alternately, add 1/2 cup of shredded dried nori. For added texture, omit the soba noodles and use cooked, chilled ramen noodles instead. The author suggests pairing this salad with barbecue chicken and beer.