Cities Food Health Lifestyle Tokyo

Lockdown lessons and recipes from Miica’s “Bio Labo House”

One of the first friends my husband Julien and I made after moving to Tokyo was the caring and creative Miica Fran. After meeting her at our coworking space, she invited us to her first pop-up restaurant called “Eat Provence” — an intimate series inspired by the slow food and cozy lifestyle of her experience in the southeast region of France.

That was almost three years ago. Miica has since traveled throughout Europe to research how to have a zero-waste kitchen and she now hosts her own experimental zero-waste kitchen “Bio Labo House” at the charming bar aVin in Meguro-ku. 

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Miica for a story in The Japan Times and sharing the steps she and her community are taking to reduce kitchen waste, such as harvesting “imperfect produce” directly from local farms, using reusable boxes and bags instead of plastic, trying to use as much of a plant or animal as possible, composting, upcycling with Swell Plastic, and saving onion skins to make natural plant dyes with the local artist Emiko Hasegawa

A large source of food waste is also, of course, the food left on our plates, but this has never been a problem when Miica cooks because her food is so flavorsome!

As was the case this past winter when Miica and I hosted our second installment of We are Wabi-sabi — a series of gatherings where we explore the meaning of the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi” — the beauty of things imperfect, transient, and incomplete — while enjoying a gorgeous meal made with beautifully imperfect produce, or what we lovingly call “wabi-sabi veggies.”

Miica’s menu was a medley of healthy and hearty French-inspired cuisine with organic Japanese ingredients: kale, walnut and golden raisin salad; steamed radish and radish leaves; carrots with soy milk dip; soy milk cream pasta with hemp seeds; a Lyonnais cassoulet made with tomatoes, beans and bacon, and a perfectly baked tart amandine for dessert.

As we know, this was before the coronavirus crisis and our city’s shutdowns. We might miss these social gatherings — food brings us all together after all — but staying at home doesn’t mean we can’t eat well. One silver-lining to this lockdown is how it can make home feel more like a laboratory for deeply experimenting with tasty recipes, as well as tricks for reducing waste.

As such, I asked Miica if I could share with all of you her recipes for the famous Lyonnais cassoulet and the almond tart that she prepared at “We are Wabi-Sabi.” We chose these dishes because they’re adaptable and easy to rustle up with common pantry staples, such as beans, canned tomatoes, herbs, flour and nuts. Traditionally, cassoulet is prepared with pork, but meat can easily be left out to be vegetarian while still flowing with umami flavor. So, next time you feel like experimenting in your home kitchen laboratory, get cozy with Miica’s cassoulet and almond tart!

So, next time you feel like experimenting in your home kitchen laboratory, try getting cozy with Miica’s cassoulet!

Miica’s Recipe for Cassoulet

Ingredients (for 4 people):
Organic dry white lupini beans 150g 
(or any beans you happen to have at home)
200g Pork shoulder loin (or boneless pork rib)
250g bacon
(you can leave out meat for a vegetarian version)
1 organic onion
1 carrot
2 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs thyme 
2 sprigs rosemary 
1 bay leaf 
extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
black or white pepper to taste
red pepper to taste
1/3 cup bread crumbs (without additives)

1. Soak the white beans overnight.
2. Boil the beans for about 30 minutes on low heat until beans get soft.
3. Season pork with salt and pepper and cut into 3cm-wide pieces.
4. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.
5. Mince the onions and garlic.
6. Cut the carrots into large pieces.
7. Cut the tomato.
8. Stir fry garlic, onion, tomato and carrot.
9. Add bacon and meat and cook until brown.
10. Mix in boiled beans, broth, stir-fried vegetables, herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper.
11. Put all ingredients in a baking dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
12. Bake it for 20 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Miica’s Recipe for Almond Tart


For the pastry
150g flour
40g butter
60g cane sugar
1 egg

For the filling
100g almond flour
slivered almonds (adequate amount)
100g butter
2 eggs
100g cane sugar


For the pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 
2. Mix the butter put in room temperature until it gets creamy.
3. Add sugar in the above and mix it until it looks white.  
4. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix well.
5. Mix in the flour and knead it until it becomes dough.
6. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
8. Place the dough in a 22cm tart tin and lightly prick the pastry all over with a fork.
9. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees C.

For the filling
10. Mix the butter with a whisk until smooth.
11. Add sugar and mix well.
12. Add in half of the beaten egg and mix well, then add the other half and mix well.
13. Add almond powder and mix well.

14. Pour the mixture into the tart shape.
15. Sprinkle slivered almonds so it covers the top.
16. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.
17. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!

JULIA // Tokyo

116 thoughts on “Lockdown lessons and recipes from Miica’s “Bio Labo House””

  1. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  2. You should be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality
    sites on the web. I most certainly will recommend this website!

  3. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to
    a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  4. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital
    to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I fulfillment you access constantly quickly.

  5. I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers, its really really
    pleasant article on building up new blog.

  6. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a
    difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely
    unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  7. Hi there, just became alert to your blog
    through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I’m going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.

    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  8. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect
    , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

  9. Hey there, I think your website might be having browser
    compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you
    a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

  10. Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks a ton!

  11. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest
    blog and I would like to find something more secure.

    Do you have any solutions?

  12. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the
    same subjects? Thanks for your time!

  13. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!

  14. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me
    to get my own, personal website now 😉

  15. A person necessarily assist to make severely posts I might state.
    That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far?
    I surprised with the analysis you made to
    make this actual put up incredible. Magnificent activity!

  16. I do consider all of the concepts you’ve offered
    on your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work.

    Still, the posts are too brief for novices. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post. adreamoftrains hosting services

  17. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be
    honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to
    come back down the road. All the best

  18. Pretty component of content. I just stumbled
    upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that
    I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts.

    Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I fulfillment you access persistently fast.

  19. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what
    all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  20. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!


  21. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually loved account your blog posts.
    Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I achievement you get entry to constantly

  22. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you
    happen to be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back
    down the road. I want to encourage that you continue
    your great job, have a nice day!

  23. Hi there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.

    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

  24. wonderful issues altogether, you just received a new reader.
    What could you suggest about your submit that you simply made
    some days in the past? Any sure?

  25. Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy
    so any help is very much appreciated.

  26. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me recognise in order that I could subscribe.

  27. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  28. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what
    I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.

  29. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness to your post is just great and that i could think you are
    knowledgeable on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grasp your RSS feed to
    keep up to date with imminent post. Thank you a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  30. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know
    what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your site when you could be
    giving us something enlightening to read?

  31. Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  32. I think this is one of the most significant info for me. And i’m glad reading
    your article. But want to remark on some general
    things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really excellent :
    D. Good job, cheers

  33. Can I simply say what a relief to find someone who genuinely
    knows what they are talking about on the internet.

    You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of the
    story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that
    you definitely possess the gift.

  34. Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come
    back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to
    change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  35. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to
    be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that
    they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without
    having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

  36. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone
    and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad
    is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is
    completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  37. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site. It’s
    simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get
    that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.
    I must say you’ve done a superb job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely
    fast for me on Chrome. Excellent Blog!

  38. Howdy I am so delighted I found your website, I really found
    you by error, while I was searching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I
    am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute
    but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the
    great work.

  39. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you
    modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it
    is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  40. Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to
    take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting
    this to my followers! Superb blog and great
    style and design.

  41. I am not sure where you’re getting your information,
    but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this
    information for my mission.

  42. This is very interesting, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to in quest
    of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your
    site in my social networks

  43. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend
    your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided vivid clear concept

  44. Metin2 pvp serverler blog

    Metin2 oyununu oynamak isteyenler için pvp serverler site üzerinden oyun severlere sunulmaktadır.
    Birbirinden farklı seçenekleri değerlendirmek isteyenler için özellikle zorlu seviyelerde kullanabileceğiniz farklı server seçenekleri
    üzerinden hizmet verilmektedir. Serverler zorlu olan bölümlerde özellikle yapılan değişimler sayesinde daha rahat şekilde ilerleme imkanı elde etmenizi sağlamaktadır.

    Devamlı olarak siteye eklenen Metin2 pvp serverler
    özellikle tercih edebileceğiniz en uygun seçeneklere ulaşmanızı sağlamaktadır.
    Hazırlanmış olan server seçenekleri rol alma oyununda etkin şekilde
    yer almak isteyenlere farklı seçenekler sunmaktadır. Özellikle
    zorlu seviyelerde karşılaşabileceğiniz problemlere karşı
    tercih edebileceğiniz server seçenekleri online oyunda daha iyi şekilde devam etmenizi sağlamaktadır.

    Mt2 Pvp Server Tanıtımları: Ayrıntılı şekilde verilen bilgiler üzerinden yapacağınız karşılaştırmalar sayesinde Mt2 pvp seçenekleri arasından en uygun olanı
    belirleyebilirsiniz. Her server seçeneği farklı imkanlar sunmaktadır.
    Bu nedenle en uygun seçenekleri belirlemek isteyenler site üzerinden yapacakları incelemelerde verilen bilgiler üzerinden karşılaştırma yaparak
    en uygun seçenek üzerinden tercih yapabilirler.
    Popüler serverler oyunda daha rahat ilerlemenize yardımcı olmaktadır.

  45. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  46. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over
    that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  47. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog
    and I am inspired! Extremely helpful information particularly the final section :
    ) I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular info
    for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  48. You are so interesting! I do not believe I’ve read a single thing like this before.
    So great to discover another person with original thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something
    that’s needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *