Spiced Soba Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing

1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1-1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt
1 pound dried soba noodles
1 cup finely julienned carrots
1 cup finely julienned cucumber
Finely grated lime zest and chopped cilantro for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just Starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the jalapeño, garlic and ginger and cook until Fragrant, 1 minute. Add the peanut butter and red curry paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the coconut milk, chicken stock, soy sauce and sugar and simmer until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the lime juice and season with salt; let it cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted
boiling water, cook the soba noodles
until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain
and rinse under cold running water until cooled. Shake out the excess water and blot the soba dry. Transfer the noodles to a largo bowl and toss with the remaining 12 tablespoon of oil. Add the spicy peanut dressing and toss well to coat thoroughly. Add the carrots and cucumber and toss again. Garnish the soba with the lime zest and cilantro and serve.

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