I am not really a fan of most teriyaki sauces, but I wanted to learn to make an easy Asian sauce from scratch, so I looked up teriyaki sauce recipes and chose one that seemed simple and (possibly) canonical. I then made a stir-fry.
I sauteed a pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, a ton of broccoli, two bundles of green onions, and a chopped-up carrot in sesame oil. The sauce I made was:
slightly less than 1/2 cup soy sauce [because I ran out]
slightly less than 1/2 cup mirin (Chinese rice wine, but sold as a condiment type of thing in the grocery store, so probably not actually alcoholic)
2 tbsp brown sugar
The sauce ingredients I just warmed up in a small sauce pan. When they got hot I added some water to make what I thought would be the right amount of sauce, and a bit later I tried to thicken it with a little cornstarch, but that didn't seem to work.
I did not like how the teriyaki sauce smelled, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying it. In fact, I intended to have it for lunches, so I put away all of the portions (it made four servings, with brown rice) without even trying it. I did give a tiny sample to Ed, who pronounced it, "OK."
Tonight I had my first portion and, man, it is actually pretty terrific. The teriyaki I made is a completely adequate stir-fry sauce with none of the qualities that make me sometimes dislike teriyaki. It's sweet but not too sweet, salty but not overwhelming, and it doesn't have that kind of bitter soy sauce taste.