There is simply no comparison between home made and store bought teriyaki sauce. Mine isn’t too complicated, and in the fridge in a sealed container, it will last pretty much indefinitely. You can leave it slightly thickened naturally, or you can mechanically thicken it with a little cornstarch and water.
1 cup dark soy sauce
1 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tsp roasted sesame oil (we use Kadoya brand).
1 to 2 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp ginger paste
a good pinch of red pepper flakes
a good pinch of ground black pepper
optional: 1 tsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup cold water
Add all ingredients except the water and corn starch to a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce until the sauce kind-of-sort-of coats the back of a spoon. This will probably take about half an hour or so at a simmer. If you don’t mind stirring constantly, you can certainly turn the heat up a bit.
If you wish to thicken, now is the time. Make a slurry of the water and cornstarch, add, bring back to a boil for a few minutes, then cool. The sauce will continue to thicken, especially once it is refrigerated.
Teriyaki chicken can be as simple as slicing something like 1 chicken breast half or 1 thigh worth of meat per person in 1/4″ strips and sautéing over medium heat, adding a couple of tbsp of sauce to cook it in. The chicken will give off a lot of liquid, so you’ll want to continue to cook it off until you’ve driven the vast majority of the water out and re-thickened the sauce. Serve over steamed short grain rice, with miso soup or a Japanese pickle.