Three recent large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Chinese Han populations have identified an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) susceptibility locus within phospholipase C epsilon 1 (PLCE1) gene, which encodes a phospholipase involved in intracellular signaling. The expressed PLCE1 in ESCC, however, are inconsistent. This study examined PLCE1 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) from 110 ethnic Kazakh ESCC patients and 50 from adjacent normal esophageal tissues (NETs). The expressed PLCE1 was localized in cytoplasm, especially in the peripheral layers of cancer cell nests, which was significantly higher in tumors than in NETs (p < 0.001). Increased expression of PLCE1 was correlated with advanced tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stages (p = 0.015) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.003) in patients with ESCC. Of the 110 patients, we examined 50 paired ESCC tissues and corresponding NETs by quantitative RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and the mean mRNA level of PLCE1 in ESCC was 1.85-fold higher compared with those in corresponding NETs (p = 0.0012). Meanwhile, 4 of 5 ESCC cell lines also showed elevated expression of PLCE1 mRNA. Furthermore, elevated expression of PLCE1 mRNA in Kazakh ESCC was associated with its immunoreactivity (ρ = 0.297, p = 0.040), lymph node metastasis (p < 0.001), and advanced TNM stages of ESCC (p = 0.013). To our knowledge, this study demonstrates for the first time that PLCE1 overexpression correlates with lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stages of Kazakh ESCC, implicating a role of PLCE1 in cancer metastasis and aggressiveness in ethnic Kazakh patients with ESCC. Furthermore, the current findings may warrant investigations into whether inhibiting PLCE1 could be a strategy for targeted anticancer therapy particularly for Kazakh ESCC.