Prepare the steamed crabs for garlic crabs. Place your hand over the backfin leg and pull away the top shell & discard it. Remove & discard the six gills, which look like spongy fingers, & then remove their entrails, using your fingers or a knife. Once clean, tear off the crab’s mouth & any sharp shells that might be protruding. Finally, break the crab in half or leave it whole (you decide). Repeat with the remaining crabs.
When all the crabs are cleaned, place the crabs in the pot along with the cabbage & white wine. You can add the optional salt, pepper, butter, & parsley.
Cover the stockpot & place it on a burner. Raise the heat to medium & cook the crabs until the cabbage & garlic is tender or, about 15 minutes.
Occasionally check the level of liquid, which should increase as the crabs release their juices (but if this does not happen, just make sure there is enough water to continue to cook the crabs). Stir the pot well halfway through so all the crabs get a chance to cook directly in the liquid. Serve immediately in a large bowl with fresh bread to sop up the juices.
Chef’s Note: I love Garlic Crabs & prefer to prepare them with already steamed crabs. You can prepare this recipe with live crabs, but removing the shell is a bit cumbersome. For a tangy, sharp flavor, use raw garlic, however if you like it mild use roasted garlic instead. This is a block party favorite: hot or cold, the crabs & juices maintain their wonderful flavor.