A general role for boiling fish, which will hold good for all kinds, and thus save a great deal of time and space, is this: Any fresh fish weighing between four and six pounds should be first washed in cold water and then put into boiling water enough to cover it, and containing one tablespoonful of salt. Simmer gently thirty minutes; then take up.
A fish kettle is a great convenience, and it can be used also for boiling hams. When you do not have a fish kettle, keep a piece of strong white cotton cloth in which pin the fish before putting into the boiling water. This will hold it in shape.
Hard boiling will break the fish, and, of course, there will be great waste, besides the dish's not looking so handsome and appetizing. There should be a gentle bubbling of the water, and nothing more, all the time the fish is in it.
A fish weighing more than six pounds should cook five minutes longer for every additional two pounds.
Boiled fish can be served with a great variety of sauces. After you have learned to make them (which is a simple matter), if you cannot get a variety of fish you will not miss it particularly, the sauce and mode of serving doing much to change the whole character of the dish.
Many people put a tablespoonful of vinegar in the water in which the fish is boiled. The fish flakes a little more readily for it.
Small fish, like trout, require from four to eight minutes to cook. They are, however, much better baked, broiled or fried.