I found that combining soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar yielded a sauce with the essential flavors of teriyaki but that lacked its typical luster and thickness. After I added just a touch of cornstarch for thickness, however, it was perfect. Now, I never buy teriyaki sauce. I like it with chicken and noodles, or as a dipping sauce. It's fantastic when barbecuing -- just make sure to brush it on when your meat is almost done so it doesn't char too much.
Note: If you can't find mirin, you can leave it out and add extra sugar to compensate but I find that it adds an extra layer of depth and extra shininess to the sauce. —stephanie le
Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a saucepan and bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and the water. Whisk this slurry into the sauce. Turn the heat to medium and reduce the sauce until slightly thick. Taste and adjust with soy sauce and sugar if needed.
Obsessed with food, photography, good design, potatoes and noodles. Recipes and ramblings at www.iamafoodblog.com. My first book, Easy Gourmet is coming out September 2nd, 2014 and is available for preorder on Amazon!