Modern fiber-optic coherent communications employ advanced, spectrally efficient modulation formats that require sophisticated narrow-linewidth local oscillators (LOs) and complex digital signal processing (DSP). Self-coherent optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (self-CO-OFDM) is a modern technology that retrieves the frequency and phase information from the extracted carrier without employing a LO or additional DSP. However, a wide carrier guard is typically required to easily filter out the optical carrier at the receiver, thus discarding many OFDM middle subcarriers that limit the system data rate. Here, we establish an optical technique for carrier recovery, harnessing large-gain stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) on a photonic chip for up to 116.82 Gbit · s−1 self-CO-OFDM signals, without requiring a separate LO. The narrow SBS linewidth allows for a record-breaking small carrier guard band of ∼265 MHz in self-CO-OFDM, resulting in higher capacity than benchmark self-coherent multi-carrier schemes. Chip-based SBS-self-coherent technology reveals comparable performance to state-of-the-art coherent optical receivers while relaxing the requirements of the DSP. In contrast to on-fiber SBS processing, our solution provides phase and polarization stability. Our demonstration develops a low-noise and frequency-tracking filter that synchronously regenerates a low-power narrowband optical tone, which could relax the requirements on very-high-order modulation signaling for future communication networks. The proposed hybrid carrier filtering-and-regeneration technique could be useful in long-baseline interferometry for precision optical timing or reconstructing a reference tone for quantum-state measurements.