A planar nanophotonic Fabry-Pérot-like resonator that can defy strong absorption of about 20 000 cm-1 in the cavity material is demonstrated. Visible laser emission is observed from two silicon subwavelength-sized high index contrast gratings with embedded polymer gain material. The size of the laser is reduced by an order of magnitude compared to established designs based on photonic bandgap structures. As silicon constitutes the most common carrier for electronics, the cost-efficient integration of compact laser sources for visible wavelengths comes within reach. © 2010 American Chemical Society.